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Cornell University Library 
QL 751.H81 

Minds and manners of wild animalsj 

3 1924 024 783 585 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 








The Experiencea of a Hunter^ and Naturalist in 
India, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo. 
Illustrated. 8vo. 


A Foundation of Useful Knowledge of the Higher 
Animals of North America. Four Crown Octavo 
Volumes. Illustrated in colors and half-tones. 


Royal 8vo. Complete in one volume. 


Its Extermination and Preservation. 










The wild animal must think, or die. 


"Prone all things; holdfast that which is good" 





CoFVnOHT, 1922, by 

Printed in the United States of America 

The right ofirimslaHon is reserved 

Published May, 1922 










During these days of ceaseless conflict, anxiety and unrest 
among men, when at times it begins to look as if "the Cau- 
casian" really is "played out," perhaps the English-reading 
world will turn with a sigh of relief to the contemplation of 
wild animals. At all events, the author has found this diver- 
sion in his favorite field mentally agreeable and refreshing. 

In comparison with some of the alleged men who now are 
cursing this earth by their baneful presence, the so-called 
"lower animals" do not seem so very "low" after all! As a 
friend of the animals, this is a very proper time in which to 
compare them with men. Furthermore, if thinking men and 
women desire to know the leading facts concerning the intel- 
ligence of wild animals, it will be well to consider them now, 
before the bravest and the best of the wild creatures of the 
earth go down and out under the merciless and inexorable 
steam roller that we call Civilization. 

The intelligence and the ways of wild animals are large 
subjects. Concerning them I do not offer this volume as an 
all-in-all production. Out of the great mass of interesting 
things that might have been included, I have endeavored to 
select and set forth only enough to make a good series of 
sample exhibits, without involving the general reader in a 
hopelessly large collection of details. The most serious ques- 
tion has been: What shall be left out? 

Mr. A. R. Spofford, first Librarian of Congress, used to 
declare that "Books are made from books"; but I call the 
reader to bear witness that this volume is not a mass of quo- 
tations. A quoted authority often can be disputed, and for 
this reason the author has found considerable satisfaction in 
relying chiefly upon his own testimony. 


Because I always desire to know the opinions of men who 
are writing upon their own observations, I have felt free to 
express my own conclusions regarding the many phases of 
animal intelligence as their manifestation has impressed me 
in close-up observations. 

I have purposely avoided all temptations to discuss the 
minds and manners of domestic animals, partly because that 
is by itself a large subject, and partly because their minds 
have been so greatly influenced by long and close association 
with man. The domestic mammals and birds deserve inde- 
pendent treatment. 

A great many stories of occurrences have been written into 
this volume, for the purpose of giving the reader all the facts 
in order that he may form his own opinions of the animal 
mentality displayed. 

Most sincerely do I wish that the boys and girls of America, 
and of the whole world, may be induced to believe that the 
most interesting thing about a wild animal is its mind and its 
reasoning, and that a dead animal is only a poor decaying 
thing. If the feet of the young men would run more to seeing 
and studying the wild creatures and less to the killing of them, 
some of the world's valuable species might escape being swept 
away tomorrow, or the day after. 

The author gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to 
Munsey's Magazine, McClure's Magazine and the Sunday 
Magazine Syndicate for permission to copy herein various 
portions of his chapters from those publications. 

W. T. H. 

The Anchorage, 
Stamford, Conn. 
December 19, 192 1. 




I. The Lay of the Land 3 

II. Wild Animal Temperament £r Individuality 14 

III. The Language of Anbials 25 

rv. The Most Intelligent Animals .... 40 

V. The Rights of Wild Animals .... 49 


VI. The Brightest Minds Among Animals . 

VII. Keen Birds and Dull Men .... 

VIII. The Mental Status of the Orang-Utan 

IX. The Man-likeness of the Chimpanzee. 

X. The True Mental Status of the Gorilla 93 

XI. The Mind of the Elephant 10 1 

XII. The Mental and Moral Traits of Bears. 124 

XIII. Mental Traits of a Few Ruminants . . 142 

XIV. Mental Traits of a Few Rodents . . . 160 

XV. The Mental Traits of Birds 171 

XVI. The Wisdom of the Serpent 194 

XVn. The Training of Wild Animals .... 204 




XVIII. The Morals of Wiuj Animais . . . . 219 

XIX. The Laws of the Flocks and Herds . . 225 

XX. Plays and Pastimes of Wild Animals . . 233 

XXI. Courage in Wild Animals 241 


XXII. Fear as a Ruling Passion 261 

XXIII. Fighting Among. Wild Animals . . . . 272 
XXrv. Wild Animal Criminals and Crime ... 286 
XXV. Fighting with Wild Animals 302 

The Curtain. 314 


Overpowering Curiosity of a Mountain Sheep 

Christmas at the Primates' House 

The Trap-Door Spider's Door and Biurrow 

Hanging Nest of the Baltimore Oriole 

Great Hanging Nests of the Crested Cacique . . . 

"Rajah," the Actor Orang-Utan 

Thumb-Print of an Orang-Utan 

The Lever That Our Orang-Utan Invented . . . 
Portrait of a High-Caste Chimpanzee , • . . 
The Gorilla With the Wonderful Mind .... 
Tame Elephants Assisting in Tying a Wild Captive . 
Wild Bears Quickly Recognize Protection .... 
Alaskan Brown Bear, "Ivan," Begging for Food . . 

The Mystery of Death 

The Steady-Nerved and Courageous Mountain Goat 

Fortress of an Arizona Pack-Rat 

Wild Chipmunks Respond to Man's Protection . . 

An Opossxim Feigning Death 

Migration of the Golden Plover. (Map) .... 
Remarkable Village Nests of the Sociable Weaver Bird 
Spotted Bower-Bird, at Work on Its Unfinished Bower 

. Frontispiece 
Facing page 42 
Page 78 

Pacing page 84 

. . Page 164 

Facing page 166 


. Page 172 

Facing page 182 



Hawk-Proof Nest of a Cactus Wren Facing page 196 

A Peace Conference With an Arizona Rattlesnake . " 196 

Work Elephant Dragging a Hewn Timber .... " 208 

The Wrestling Bear, "Christian," and His Partner . " 216 

Adult Bears at Play " 234 

Primitive Penguins on the Antarctic Continent, Una- 
fraid of Man " 266 

Richard W. Rock and His Bi^ffalo Murderer ... " 298 

"Black Beauty" Murdering "Apache" ..... " 298 



If every man devoted to his affairs, and to the affairs 
of his city and state, the same measure of intelligence 
and honest industry that every warm-blooded mid animal 
devotes to its affairs, the people of this world would 
abound in good health, prosperity, peace and happiness. 

To assume that every wild beast and bird is a sacred 
creature, peacefully dwelling in an earthly paradise, is 
a mistake. They have their wisdom and their folly, 
their joys and their sorrows, their trials and tribulations. 

As the alleged lord of creation, it is man^s duty to 
know the wild animals truly as they are, in order to 
enjoy them to the utmost, to utilize them sensibly and 
fairly, and to give them a square deaL 




THERE is a vast field of fascinating human interest, 
l)ring only just outside our doors, which as yet has 
been but little explored. It is the Field of Animal 

Of all the kinds of interest attaching to the study of the 
world's wild animals, there are none that surpass tiie study 
of their minds, their morals, and the acts that they perform 
as the results of their mental processes. 

In these pages, the term "animal" is not used in its most 
common and most restricted sense. It is intended to apply 
not only to quadrupeds, but also to all the vertebrate forms, — 
mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes. 

For observation and study, the whole vast world of living 
creatures is ours, throughout all zones and all lands. It is 
not ours to flout, to abuse, or to exterminate as we please. 
While for practical reasons we do not here address ourselves 
to the invertebrates, nor even to the sea-rovers, we can not 
keep them out of the background of our thoughts. The living 
world is so vast and so varied, so beautiful and so ugly, so 
delightful and so terrible, so interesting and so commonplace, 
that each step we make through it reveals things different and 
previously unknown. 

The Frame of Mind. To the inquirer who enters the 
field of animal thought with an open mind, and free from the 
trammels of egotism and fear regarding man's place in nature, 



this study will prove an endless succession of surprises and 
delights. In behalf of the utmost tale of results, the inquirer 
should summon to his aid his rules of evidence, his common 
sense, his love of fair play, and the inexorable logic of his 
youthfvd geometry. 

And now let us clear away a few weeds from the entrance 
to our field, and reveal its cornerstones and boundary lines. 
To a correct understanding of any subject a correct point of 
view is absolutely essential. 

In a commonplace and desultory way man has been mildly 
interested in the intelligence of animals for at least 30,000 
years. The Cro-Magnons of that far time possessed real artis- 
tic talent, and on the smooth stone walls and ceilings of the 
caves of France they drew many wonderful pictures of mam- 
moths, European bison, wild cattle, rhinoceroses and other 
animals of their period. Ever since man took unto himself 
certain tractable wild animals, and made perpetual thralls of 
the horse, the dog, the cat, the cattle, sheep, goats and swine, 
he has noted their intelligent ways. Ever since the first cave- 
man began to hunt wild beasts and slay them with clubs and 
stones, the two warring forces have been interested in each 
other, but for about 25,000 years I think that the wild beasts 
knew about as much of man's intelligence as men knew of 

I leave to those who are interested in history the task of 
revealing the date, or the period, when scholarly mea first 
began to pay serious attention to the animal mind. 

In 189s when Mr. George J. Romanes, of London, pub- 
lished his excellent work on "Animal Intelligence," on one of 
its first pages he blithely brushed aside as of little account 
all the observations, articles and papers on his subject that 
had been published previous to that time. Now mark how 
swiftly history can repeat itself, and also bring retribution. 

In 1910 there arose in the United States of America a 
group of professional college-and-university animal psycholo- 


gists who set up the study of "animal behavior." They did 
this so seriously, and so detenninedly, that one of the first 
acts of two of them consisted in joyously brushing aside as of 
no account whatever, and quite beneath serious considera- 
tion, everything that had been seen, done and said previous 
to the rise of their group, and the laboratory Problem Box. 
In view of what this group has accomplished since 1910, with 
their "problem boxes," their "mazes" and their millions of 
"trials by error," expressed in solid pages of figures, the world 
of animal lovers is entitled to smile tolerantly upon the cheer- 
ful assumptions of ten years ago. 

But let it not at any time be assumed that we are destitute 
of problem boxes; for the author has two of his own! One is 
called the Great Outdoors, and the other is named the New 
York Zoological Park. The first has been in use sixty years, 
the latter twenty-two years. Both are today in good working 
order, but the former is not quite as good as new. 

A Preachment to the Student. In studying the wild- 
animal mind, the boundary line between Reality and Dream- 
land is mighty easy to cross. He who easily 3delds to seduc- 
tive reasoning, and the call of the wild imagination, soon will 
become a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions of things 
that never occurred. The temptation to place upon the sim- 
ple acts of animals the most complex and far-fetched interpre- 
tations is a trap ever ready for the feet of the unwary. It is 
better to see nothing than to see a lot of things that are not true. 

In the study of animals, we have long insisted that to the 
open eye and the thinking brain, truth is stranger than fiction. 
But Truth does not always wear her heart upon her sleeve for 
zanies to peck at. Unfortunately there are millions of men 
who go through the world looking at animals, but not seeing 

Beware of setting up for wild animals impossible mental 
and moral standards. The student must not deceive himself 
by overestimating mental values. If an estimate must be 


made, make it under the mark of truth rather than above it. 
While avoiding the folly of idealism, we also must shun the 
ways of the narrow mind, and the eyes that refuse to see the 
truth. Wild animals are not superhuman demigods of wis- 
dom; but neither are they idiots, unable to reason from cause 
to efifect along the simple lines that vitally affect their ejdstence. 

Brain-owning wild animals are not mere machines of flesh 
and blood, set agoing by the accident of birth, and running 
for life on the narrow-gauge railway of Heredity. They are 
not "Machines in Fur and Feathers," as one naturalist once 
tried to make the world believe them to be. Some animals 
have more intelligence than some men; and some have far 
better morals. 

What Constitutes Evidence. The best evidence regard- 
ing the ways of wild animals is one's own eye-witness testimony. 
Not all second-hand observations are entirely accurate. Many 
persons do not know how to observe; and at times some are 
deceived by their own eyes or ears. It is a sad fact that both 
those organs are easily deceived. The student who is in doubt 
regarding the coniposition of evidence will do weU to spend a 
few days in court listening to the trial of an important and 
hotly contested case. In collecting real evidence, all is not 
gold that glitters. 

Many a mind misinterprets the thing seen, sometimes inno- 
cently, and again wantonly. The nature fakir is always on 
the alert to see wonderful phenomena in wild life, about which 
to write; and by preference he places the most strained and 
marvelous interpretation upon the animal act. Beware of the 
man who always sees marvelous things in animals, for he is 
a dangerous guide. There is one man who claims to have 
seen in his few days in the woods more wonders than all the 
older American naturalists and sportsmen have seen added 

Now, Nature does not assemble all her wonderful phe- 
nomena and hold them in leash to be turned loose precisely when 


the great Observer of Wonders spends his day in the woods. 
Wise men always suspect the man who sees too many mar- 
velous things. 

The Relative Value of Witnesses. It is due that a 
word should be said regarding "expert testimony" in the case 
of the wild animal. Some dust has been raised in this field 
by men posing as authorities on wild animal psychology, whose 
observations of the world's wild animals have been confined 
to the chipmunks, squirrels, weasels, foxes, rabbits, and birds 
dwelling within a small circle surrounding some particular 
woodland house. In another class other men have devoted 
heavy scientific labors to laboratory observations on white 
rats, domestic rabbits, cats, dogs, sparrows, turtles and newts 
as the handpicked exponents of the intelligence of the animals 
of the world! 

Alas! for the human sense of Proportion! 

Fancy an ethnologist studying the Eskimo, the Dog-Rib 
Indian, the Bushman, the Aino and the Papuan, and then 
proceeding to write conclusively "On the Intelligence of the 
Human Race." 

The proper place in which to study the minds, maimers 
and morals of wild aiiimals is in the most thickly populated 
haunts of the most intelligent species. The free and untram- 
meled animal, busily working out its own destiny unhindered 
by man, is the beau-ideal animal to observe and to study. 
Go to the plain, the wilderness, the desert and the mountain, 
not merely to shoot everything on foot, but to see animals at 
home, and there use your eyes and your field-glass. See what 
normal wild animus do as "behavior," and then try to find out 
why they do it. 

The next best place for study purposes is a spacious, sani- 
tary and weU-stocked zoological park, wherein are assembled 
great collections of the most interesting land vertebrates that 
can be procured, from all over the earth. There the student 


can observe many new traits of wild animal character, as they 
are brought to the surface by captivity. There will some indi- 
viduals reveal the worst traits of their species. Others will 
reveal marvels in mentality, and teach lessons such as no man 
can learn from them in the open. To study temperament, 
there is no place like a zoo. 

Even there, however, the wisest course, — as it seems to 
me, — ^is not to introduce too many appliances as aids to men- 
tal activity, but rather to see what the animal subject thinks 
and does hy its own initiative. In the testing of memory and 
the perceptive faculties, training for performances is the best 
method to pursue. 

The reader has a right to know that the author of this 
volume has enjoyed unparalleled opportunities for the obser- 
vation and study of highly intelligent wild animals, both in 
their wild haunts and in a great vivarium; and these combined 
opportunities have covered a long series of years. 

Before proceeding farther, it is desirable to define certain 
terms that frequently will be used in these pages. 

The Animal Brain is the generator of the mind, and the 
clearing-house of the senses. As a mechanism, the brain of 
man is the most perfect, and in the descent through the mam- 
mals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes, the brain pro- 
gressively is simplified in form and function. 

Thought is the result of the various processes of the brain 
and nervous system, stimulated by the contributions of the 

Sanity is the state of normal, orderly ai^d balanced thought, 
as formulated by a healthy brain. 

Insanity is a state of mental disease, resulting in disor- 
dered, unbalanced and chaotic thought, destitute of reason. 

Reason is the manifestation of correct observation and 
healthful thought which recognizes both cause and effect, and 
leads from premise to conclusion. 


lutelligence is created by the possession of knowledge 
either inherited or acquired. It may be either latent or active; 
and it is the forerunner of reason. 

Instinct is the knowledge or impulse which animals or 
men derive from their ancestors by inheritance, and which 
they obey, either consciously or subconsciously in working out 
their own preservation, increase and betterment. Instinct of- 
ten functions as a sixth sense. 

Education is the acquirement of knowledge by precept or 
by observation; but animals as well as men may be self-taught, 
and become self-educated, by the diligent exercise of the ob- 
serving and reasoning faculties. The adjustment of a wild 
animal mind to conditions unknown to its ancestors is through 
the process of self-education, and by logical reasoning from 
premise to conclusion. 

The wild animal must think, or die. 

Animal intelligence varies in quantity and quality as much 
as animals vary in size. Idiots, maniacs and sleeping persons 
are the only classes of human beings who are devoid of intelli- 
gence and reasoning power. Idiots and maniacs also are often 
devoid of the common animal instinct that ordinarily promotes 
self-preservation from fire, water and high places. A heavily- 
sleeping person is often so sodden in slumber that his senses 
of smell and hearing are temporarily dead; and many a sleep- 
ing man has been asphj^ated by gas or smoke, or burned to 
death, because his deadened senses failed to arouse him at the 
critical moment. (This dangerous condition of mind can be 
cured by efforts of the will, exercised prior to sleep, through a 
determination resolutely to arouse and investigate every un- 
usual sensation that registers "danger" on any one of the 
senses.) The normal individual sleeps with a subconscious and 
sensitive mind, from which thought and reason have not been 
entirely eliminated. 

Every act of a man or animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, 
is based upon either reason or hereditary instinct. It is a mis- 


take to assume that because an organism is small it neces- 
sarily has no "mind," and none of the propelling impulse that 
we call thought. The largest whale may have less intelligence 
and constructive reasoning than a trap-door spider, a bee or 
an ant. To deny this is to deny the evidence of one's senses. 
A Measure for Animal Intelligence. The intelligence 
of an animal may be estimated by taking into account, sep- 
arately, its mental qualities, about as follows: 

1. General knowledge of surrounding conditions. 

2. Powers of independent observation and reasoning, 

3. Memory. 

4. Comprehension under tuition. 

5. Accuracy in the execution of man's orders. 

Closely allied to these are the moral qualities which go to 
make up an animal's temperament and disposition, about as 

1. Amiability, which guarantees security to its associates. 

2. Patience, or submission to discipline and training. 

3. Courage, which gives self-confidence and steadiness. 

4. A disposition to obedience, with cheerfulness. 

All normal vertebrate animals exercise their intelligence in 
accordance with their own rules of logic. Had they not been 
able to do so, it is reasonable to suppose that they could never 
have developed into vertebrates, reaching even up to man 

According to the laws of logic, this proposition is no more 
open to doubt or dispute than is the existence of the Grand 
Canyon of the Colorado. But few persons have seen the 
Canyon, and far fewer ever have proven its existence by de- 
scending to its bottom; but none the less Reason admonishes 
all of us that the great chasm exists, and is not a debatable 

To men and women who really know the vertebrate animals 
by contact with some of them upon their own levels, the reason- 
ing power of the latter is not a debatable question. The only 


real question is: how far does their intelligence carry them? 
It is with puzzled surprise that we have noted the curious dili- 
gence of the professors of animal psychology in always writing 
of "animal behavior," and never of old-fashioned, common- 
sense animal intelligence. Can it be possible that any one of 
them really refuses to concede to the wild animal the pos- 
session of a mind, and a working intelligence? 

Yes. Animals do reason. If any one truth has come out 
of all the critical or uncritical study of the animal mind that 
has been going on for two centuries, it is this. Animals do 
reason; they always have reasoned, and as long as animals 
live they never will cease to reason. 

The higher wild animals possess and display the same fun- 
damental passions and emotions that animate the human race. 
This fact is subject to intelligent analysis, discussion and de- 
velopment, bu£ it is not by any means a "question" subject 
to debate. In the most intellectual of the quadrupeds, birds 
and reptiles, the display of fear, courage, love, hate, pleasure, 
displeasure, confidence, suspicion, jealousy, pity, greed and 
generosity are so plainly evident that even children can and 
do recognize them. To the serious and open-minded student 
who devotes prolonged thought to these things, they bring the 
wild animal very near to the "lord of creation." 

To the question, "Have wild animals souls?" we reply, 
"That is a debatable question. Read; then think it over." 

Methods with the Animal Mind. In the study o^ani- 
mal minds, much depends upon the method employed. It 
seems to me that the problem-box method of the investigators 
of "animal behavior" leaves much to be desired. Certainly 
it is not calculated to develop the mental status of animals 
along lines of natural mental progression. To place a wild 
creature in a great artificial contrivance, fitted with doors, 
cords, levers, passages and what not, is enough to daze or 
frighten any timid animal out of its normal state of mind and 


To put a wild sapajou monkey, — weak, timid and afraid,— 
in a strange and formidable prison box filled with strange 
machinery, and call upon it to learn or to invent strange me- 
chanical processes, is like bringing a boy of ten years up 
to a four-cylinder duplex Hoe printing-and-folding press, 
and sa3ring to him: "Now, go ahead and find out how to run 
this machine, and print both sides of a signature upon it." 

The average boy would shrink from the mechanical mon- 
ster, and have no stomach whatever for "trial by error." 

I think that the principle of determining the mind of a 
wild animal along the lines of the professor is not the best way. 
It should be developed along the natural lines of the wild-animal 
mind. It should be stimulated to do what it feels most inclined 
to do, and educated to achieve real mental progress. 

I think that the ideal way to study the minds of apes, 
baboons and monkeys would be to choose a good location in a 
tropical or sub-tropical climate that is neither too wet nor too 
dry, enclose an area of five acres with an unclimbable fence, 
and divide it into as many corrals as there are species to be 
experimented upon. Each corral would need a shelter house 
and indoor playroom. The stage properties should be varied 
and abundant, and designed to stimulate curiosity as well as 

Somewhere in the program I would try to teach orang-utans 
and chimpanzees the properties of fire, and how to make and 
tend fires. I would try to teach them the seed-planting idea, 
and the meaning of seedtime and harvest. I would teach 
sanitation and cleanliness of habit, — a thing much more easily 
done than most persons suppose. I would teach my apes to 
wash dishes and to cook, and I am sure that some of them 
would do no worse than some human members of the profes- 
sion who now receive $50 per month, or more, for spoiling food. 

In one corral I would mix up a chimpanzee, an orang-utan, 
a golden baboon and a good-tempered rhesus monkey. My 
apes would begin at two years old, because after seven or eight 


years of age all apes are difficult, or even impossible, as sub- 
jects for peaceful ejqjerimentation. 

I would try to teach a chimpanzee the difference between a 
noise and music, between heat and cold, between good food 
and bad food. Any trainer can teach an animal the difference 
between the blessings of peace and the horrors of war, or in 
other words, obedience and good temper versus cussedness and 

Dr. Yerkes' laboratory in Montecito, California, and his 
experiments there with an orang-utan and other primates, 
were in a good place, and made a good beginning. It is very 
much to be hoped that means will be provided by which his 
work can be prosecuted indefinitely, and under the most per- 
fect conditions that money can provide. 

I hope that I will live long enough to see Dr. Yerkes develop 
the mind of a young grizzly bear in a four-acre lot, to the 
utmost limits of that keen and sagacious personality. 



IN man and in vertebrate animals generally, temperament 
is the foundation of intelligence and progress. Fifty 
years ago Fowler and Wells, the founders of the science 
of phrenology and physiognomy, very wisely differentiated 
and defined four "temperaments" of mankind. The six types 
now recognized by me are the morose, lymphatic, sanguine, 
nervous, hysterical and combative; and their names adequately 
describe them. 

This classification applies to the higher wild animals, quite 
as truly as to men. By the manager of wild animals in cap- 
tivity, wild-animal temperament universally is recognized and 
treated as a factor of great practical importance. Mistakes in 
judging the temper of dangerous animals easily lead to trage- 
dies and sudden death. 

Fundamentally the temperament of a man or an animal is 
an inheritance from ancestors near or remote. In the human 
species a morose or hysterical temperament may possibly 
be corrected or improved, by education and effort. With 
animals this is rarely possible. The morose gorilla gives way 
to cheerfulness only when it is placed in ideally pleasant and 
stimulating social conditions. This, however, very seldom is 
possible. The nervous deer, bear or monkey is usually ner- 
vous to the end of its days. 

The morose and hysterical temperaments operate against 
mental development, progress and happiness. In the human 
species among individuals of equal mental calibre, the sanguine 
individual is due to rise higher and go farther than his nervous 
or lymphatic rivals. 



A characteristic temperament may embrace the majority 
of a whole species, or be limited to a few individuals. Many 
species are permanently characterized by the temperament 
common to the majority of their individual members. Thus, 
among the great apes the gorilla species is either morose or 
lymphatic; and it is manifested by persistent inactivity and 
sullenness. This leads to loss of appetite, indigestion, inac- 
tivity and early death. Major Penny's "John Gorilla" was a 
notable exception, as will appear in Chapter IX. 

The orang-utan is sanguine, optimistic and cheerful, a good 
boarder, affectionate toward his keepers, and friendly toward 
strangers. He eats well, enjoys life, lives long, and is well 
liked by everybody. 

Except when quite young, the chimpanzee is either nervous 
or hysterical. After six years of age it is irritable and difficult 
to manage. After seven years of age (puberty) it is rough, domi- 
neering and dangerous. The male is given to shouting, yell- 
ing, shrieking and roaring, and when quite angry rages like a 
demon. I know of no wild animal that is more dangerous per 
pound than a male chimpanzee over eight years of age. When 
young they do wonders in trained performances, but when 
they reach maturity, grow big of arm and shoulder, and 
masterfully strong, they quickly become conscious of their 
strength. It is then that performing chimpanzees become 
unruly, fly into sudden fits of temper, their back hair bristles 
up, they stamp violently, and sometimes leap into a terrorized 
orchestra. Next in order, they are retired willy-niUy from the 
stage, and are offered for sale to zoological parks and gardens 
having facilities for confinement and control. 

The baboons are characteristically fierce and aggressive, 
and in a wild state they live in troops, or even in herds of hun- 
dreds. Being armed with powerful cai^e teeth and wolf-like 
jaws, they are formidable antagonists, and other animals do 
not dare to attack them. It is because of their natural weapons, 
their readiness to fight like fiends, and their combined agility 


and strength that the baboons have been able to live on the 
ground and survive and flourish in lands literally reeking with 
lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. The awful canine teeth 
of an old male baboon are quite as dangerous as those of any 
leopard, and even the leopard's onslaught is less to be feared 
than the wild rage of an adult baboon. In the Transvaal and 
Rhodesia, it is a common occurrence for an ambitious dog to 
go after a troop of baboons and never return. 

Temperamentally the commoner groups of monkeys are 
thus characterized: 

The rhesus monkeys of India are nervous, irritable and 

The green monkeys of Africa are sanguine, but savage and 

The langur monkeys of India are sanguine and peace-loving. 

The macaques of the Far East vary from the sanguine tem- 
perament to the combative. 

The gibbons vary from sanguine to combative. 

The lemurs of Madagascar are sanguine, affectionate and 

Nearly all South American monkeys are sanguine, and 
peace-loving, and many are affectionate. 

The species of the group of Carnivora are too numerous 
and too diversified to be treated with any approach to com- 
pleteness. However, to illustrate this subject the leading 
species will be noticed. 

Temperaments of the Lauge Carnivores 

The lion is sanguine, courageous, confident, reposeful and 
very reliable. 

The tiger is nervous, suspicious, treacherous and uncertain. 

The black and common leopards are nervous and combative, 
irreconcilable and dangerous. 

The snow leopard is sanguine, optimistic and peace-loving. 


The puma is sanguine, good natured, quiet and peaceful. 

The wolves are sanguine, crafty, dangerous and cruel. 

The foxes are hysterical, timid and full of senseless fear. 

The lynxes are sanguine, philosophic, and peaceful. 

The mustelines are either nervous or hysterical, courageous, 
savage, and even murderous. 

The bears are so very interesting that it is well worth while 
to consider the leading species separately. Possibly our con- 
clusions will reveal some unsuspected conditions. 

Bear Temperaments, by Species. The polar bears are 
sanguine, but in captivity they are courageous, treacherous 
and dangerous. 

The Alaskan brown bears in captivity are sanguine, cour- 
ageous, peaceful and reliable, but in the wilds they are aggres- 
sive and dangerous. 

The grizzlies are nervous, keen, cautious, and seldom wan- 
tonly aggressive. 

The European brown bears are sanguine, optimistic and 

The American black bears are sanguine and quiet, but very 

The sloth bears of India are nervous or hysterical, and 

The Malay sun bears are hysterical, aggressive and evil- 

The Japanese black bears are nervous, cowardly and ag- 

To those who form and maintain large collections of bears, 
involving much companionship in dens, it is necessary to keep 
a watchful eye on the temperament chart. 

The Deer. In our Zoological Park establishment there is 
no collection in which both the collective and the individual 
equation is more troublesome than the deer family. In their 
management, as with apes, monkeys and bears, it is necessary 
to take into account the temperament not only of the species, 


but also of each animal; and there are times when this neces- 
sity bears hard upon human nerves. The proneness of captive 
deer to maim and to kill themselves and each other calls for 
the utmost vigilance, and for heroic endurance on the part of 
the deer keeper. 

Even when a deer species has a fairly good record for com- 
mon sense, an individual may "go crazy" the instant a slightly 
new situation arises. We have seen barasingha deer penned 
up between shock-absorbing bales of hay seriously try to jump 
straight up through a roof skylight nine feet from the floor. 
We have seen park-bred axis deer break their own necks against 
wire fences, with loo per cent of stupidity. 

Characters of Deer Species 

The white-tailed deer is sanguine, but in the fall the bucks 
are very aggressive and dangerous, and to be carefully avoided. 

The mule deer is sanguine, reasonable and not particularly 

The elk is steady of nerve, and sanguine in temperament, 
but in the rutting season the herd-masters are dangerous. 

The fallow deer species has been toned down by a hundred 
generations of park life, and it is very quiet, save when it is 
to be captured and crated. 

The axis deer is nervous, flighty, and difficult to handle. 

The barasingha deer is hysterical and unaccountable. 

The Indian and Malay sambar deer are lymphatic, confi- 
dent, tractable and easily handled. 

Never keep a deer as a "pet" any longer than is necessary 
to place it in a good home. All "pet deer" are dangerous, and 
should be confined all the time. Never go into the range or 
corral of a deer herd unless accompanied by the deer-keeper; 
and in the rutting season do not go in at all. 

The only thoroughly safe deer is a dead one; for even does 
can do mischief. 


A Sample of Nervous Temperament. As an example 
of temperament in small carnivores, we will cite the coati 
mundi' of South America. It is one of the most nervous and 
restless animals we know. An individual of sanguine tem- 
perament rarely is seen. Out of about forty specimens with 
which we have been well acquainted, I do not recall one 
that was as quiet and phlegmatic as the raccoon, the nearest 
relative of Nasua. With a disposition so restless and enter- 
prising, and with such vigor of body and mind, I count it 
strange that the genus Nasua has not spread all over our south- 
eastern states, where it is surely fitted to exist in a state of 
nature even more successfully than the raccoon or opossum. 

The temper of the coati mundi is essentially quarrelsome 
and aggressive. While young, they are reasonably peaceful, 
but when they reach adult age, they become aggressive, and 
quarrels are frequent. Separations then are very necessary, 
and it is rare indeed that more than two adult individuals 
can be caged together. Even when two only are kept together, 
quarrels and shrill squealings are frequent. But they seldom 
hurt each other. The coati is not a treacherous animal, it is 
not given to lying in wait to make a covert attack from am- 
bush, and being almost constantly on the move, it is a good 
show animal. 

The Strange Combative Temperament of the Gua- 
naco. In appearance the guanaco is the personification of 
gentleness. Its placid countenance indicates no guile, nor 
means of offense. Its lustrous gazelle-like eyes, and its soft, 
woolly fleece suggest softness of disposition. But in reality no 
animal is more deceptive. In a wild state amongst its own 
kind, or in captivity, — no matter how considerately treated, — 
it is a quarrelsome and at times intractable animal. "A pair 
of wild guanacos can often be seen or heard engaged in desper- 
ate combat, biting and tearing, and rolling over one another 
on the ground, uttering their gurgling, bubbling cries of rage. 
Of a pair so engaged, I shot one whose tail had then been 


bitten off in the encounter. In confinement, the guanaco 
charges one with his chest, or rears up on his hind legs to strike 
one with his fore-feet, besides biting and spitting up the con- 
tents of the stomach."— Richard Crawshay in "The Birds of 
Terra del Fuego." 
Mental Traits and Temper or the Atlantic Walrus 

Mr. Langdon Gibson, of Schenectady, kindly wrote out for 
me the following highly interesting observations on a remark- 
able arctic animal with which we are but slightly acquainted: 

"In the summer of 1891, as a member of the first Peary Expe- 
dition I had an opportunity of observing some of the traits of the 
Atlantic walrus. I found him to be a real animal, of huge size, with 
an extremely disagreeable temper and most belligerently inclined. 
We hunted them in open whale-boats under the shadows of Green- 
land's mountain-bound coast, in the Whale Sound region, Lat. 17 
degrees North. 

"We hunted among animals never before molested, except by ^ 
the Eskimo who (so far as I was able to ascertain) hunt them only 
during the winter season on the sea ice. We found animals whose 
courage and belief in themselves and their prowess had hitherto 
been unshaken by contact with the white man and his ingenious 
devices of slaughter. 

"The walrus has a steady nerve and a thoroughly convincing 
roar. They have fought their kind and the elements for centuries 
and centuries, and know no fear. This, then, was the animal we 
sought in order to secure food for our dog teams. I can conceive of 
no form of big game hunting so conducive to great mental excite- 
ment and physical activity as walrus hunting from an open whale- 
boat. At the completion of such a hunt I have seen Eskimo so 
excited and worked up that they were taken violently sick with 
vomiting and headache. 

"The walrus is a gregarious animal, confederating in herds num- 
bering from ten to fifty, and in some instances no doubt larger 
numbers may be found together. On calm days they rest in un- 
molested peace on pans of broken ice which drift up and down the 
waters of Whale Sound. It is unfortunate that no soundings were 
taken in the region where the walrus were found, as a knowledge of 
the depth of water would have furnished some information as to the 
distances to which the animal will dive in search of food. 

"The stomachs of all half- and full-grown walrus taken in Whale 
Sound were without exception well filled with freshly opened clams 


with very few fragments of shells in evidence; the removal of the 
clam from the shell being as neatly accomplished as though done by 
an expert oysterman. 

"In most cases these segregated herds of walrus were in charge 
of a large bull who generally occupied a central position in the mass 
of animals. Upon approaching such a herd for the first time, and 
when within about 200 feet, a large bull would lift his head, sniff 
audibly in our direction and give a loud grunt which apparently 
struck a responsive chord in the other sleeping animals. They 
would grunt in unison, in more subdued tones, after which the old 
walrus would drop his head to resume his interrupted nap. Their 
contempt for us was somewhat disconcerting. 

"At the first crack of a rifle, however, the animals immediately 
aroused, and then during the fusillade which followed there occurred 
what might be called an orderly scramble for the water. In the 
first place the young ones were hustled to the edge of the ice-pan, 
and there, apparently under the protection of the mother's flipper, 
pushed into the water, immediately followed by the mother. The 
young bulls followed, and I recall no exceptions where the last 
animal into the water was not the big bull, who before diving would 
give our boat a wicked look and a roar of rage. 

"The animals would immediately dive, and then we first became 
aware of a remarkable phenomenon. We found that when excited 
they would continue their roaring under water, and these strange 
sounds coming to us from below added considerably to the excite- 
ment of the diase. Although the cows and young animals would 
generally swim to places of safety, the other full grown animals 
would hover beneath our boat and from time to time come to the 
surface and charge. These charges were in all cases repulsed by the 
discharge of oxu: rifles in the faces of the animals. The balls, how- 
ever, from our .45 caUbre carbines would flatten out under the skin 
on the massive bony structure of the animal's skull, and cause only 
a sort of rage and a sneeze, but it however had the effect of making 
them dive again. It is my belief that when enraged the walrus if 
not resisted would attack and attempt to destroy a boat. Icquah, 
one of our native hunters, showed me in the deck of his kyak two 
mended punctures which he told me were made by the tusks of a 
walrus that had made an unprovoked attack upon him. 

"On more than one occasion I have seen two strong uninjured 
animals come to the assistance of a wounded companion, and swim 
away with it to a position of safety, the injured animal being sup- 
ported on both sides, giving the appearance of three animals swim- 
ming abreast. The first time I witnessed this I did not comprehend 
its real meaning, but on another occasion in McCormick Bay I saw 
a wounded animal leaving a trail of blood and oil, supported on 


either side by two uninjured ones. They were making a hasty 
retreat and would occasionally dive together, but would quickly 
return to the surface. 

"We found the most efTective exposed spot to place a bullet 
was at the base of the animal's skull. A walrus instantly killed this 
way generally sinks, leaving a trail of blood and oil to mark the 
place of his descent. When hunting these animals it is well to have 
an Eskimo along with harpoon and line in readiness to make fast; 
otherwise one is apt to lose his quarry. 

"In the early winter we usually found the walrus in smaller 
groups up in the bays. This was after the ice had begun to make, 
and in coming to the surface to breathe the animals found it neces- 
sary to butt their noses against the ice to break it. I have seen this 
done in ice at least four inches in thickness. In some instances I 
have seen a fractured star in the ice, a record of an unsuccessful 
attempt to make a breathing hole. 

"Around these breathing holes we frequently found fragments 
of clam-shells, sections of crinoids and sea-anemones. It is evident 
that after raking the bottom with his tusks and filling his mouth 
with food, the walrus separates the food he desires to retain and 
rejects on his way up and at the surface such articles as he has 
picked up in haste and does not want. 

"From the fact that the walrus is easily approached it is a simple 
matter to kill him with the modern high power rifle. It is therefore 
to be hoped that future expeditions into the arctic seas will kill 
sparingly of these tremendous brutes which from point of size 
stand in the foremost rank among mammals." 

The Elephant, Rhinoceros and Hippopotamus. In- 
dividual Elephants vary in temperament far more than do rhi- 
noceroses or hippopotami, and the variations are wide. In a 
wild state, elephants are quiet and undemonstrative, almost to 
the point of dullness. They do not domineer, or hector, or 
quarrel, save when a rogue develops in the ranks, and set? out 
to make things interesting by the commission of lawless acts. 
A professional rogue is about everything that an orthodox ele- 
phant should not be, and he soon makes of himself so great a 
nuisance that he is driven out of the herd. 

The temperament of the standardized and normal elephant 
is distinctly sanguine, but a nervous or hysterical individual is 
easily developed by bad conditions or abuse. Adult male ele- 


phants are subject to various degrees of what we may as well 
call sexual insanity, which is dangerous in direct proportion 
to its intensity. This causes many a "bad" show elephant 
to be presented to a zoological garden, where the dangers of 
this mental condition can at least be reduced to their lowest 
terms. Our Indian elephant who was known as Gunda was 
afficted with sexual insanity, and he gradually grew worse, 
and increasingly dangerous to his keepers, until finally it was 
necessary to end his troubles painlessly with a bullet through 
his brain. 

The Rhinoceros is a sanguine animal, of rather dull vision 
and slow understanding. In captivity it gives little trouble, 
and lives long. Adidts individually often become pettish, or 
peevish, and threaten to prod their keepers without cause, 
but I have never known a keeper to take those lapses seriously. 
The average rhino is by no means a duU or a stupid animal, and 
they have quite enough life to make themselves interesting to 
visitors. In British East Africa a black rhinoceros often trots 
briskly toward a caravan, and seems to be charging, when in 
reality it is only desiring a "close-up" to satisfy its legiti- 
mate curiosity. 

Every Hippopotamus, either Nile or pygmy, is an animal of 
serene mind and steady habits. Their appetites work with 
clock-like regularity, and require no winding. I can not recall 
that any one of our five hippos was ever sick for a day, or 
missed a meal. When the idios3Ticrasies of Gunda, our bad 
elephant, were at their worst, the contemplation of Peter the 
Great ponderously and serenely chewing his hay was a rest to 
tired nerves. Keeper Thuman treats the four pygmy hippos 
like so many pet pigs, — save the solitary adult male, who sets 
himself up to be peevish. The breeding female is a wise and 
good mother, with much more maternal instinct than our 
chimpanzee "Suzette." 

It may be set down as an absolute rule that hippos are 
l3Tnphatic, easy-going, contented, and easy to take care of 


provided they are kept scrupulously clean, and are fed as they 
should be fed. They live long, breed persistently, give no 
trouble and have high exhibition value. 

Giraffe individuals vary exceedingly, — ^beyond all other 
hoofed animals. Each one has its own headful of notions, and 
tarely will two be found quite alike in temperament and views 
of life. Some are sanguine and sensible, others are nervous, 
crotchety, and full of senseless fears. Those who are respon- 
sible for them in captivity are constantly harassed by fears 
that they will stampede in their stalls or yards, and break 
their own necks and legs in most unexpected ways. They 
require greater vigilance than any other hoofed animals we 
know. Sometimes a giraffe will develop foolishness to such a 
degree as to be unwilling to go out of its own huge door, into 
a shady and comfortable yard. 



LANGUAGE is the means by which men and animals 
express their thoughts. Of language there are four 
kinds: vocal, pictured, written and sign language. 

Any vocal sound uttered for the purpose of convejring 
thought, or influencing thought or action, is to be classed as 
vocal language. Among the mammals below man, speech is 
totally absent; but parrots, macaws, cockatoos and crows have 
been taught to imitate the sound of man's words, or certain 
simple kinds of music. 

The primitive races of mankind first employed the sign 
language, and spoken words. After that comes picture lan- 
guage, and lastly the language of written words. Among the 
Indians and frontiersmen of the western United States and 
Canada, the sign language has reached what in all probability 
is its highest development, and its vocabulary is really 

The .higher wild animals express their thoughts and feelings 
usually by sign language, and rarely by vocal sounds. Their 
power of expression varies species by species, or tribe by 
tribe, quite as it does among the races and tribes of men. It 
is our belief that there are today several living races of men 
whose vocabularies are limited to about 300 words. 

Very many species of animals appear to be voiceless; but 
it is hazardous to attempt to specify the species. Sometimes 
under stress of new emergencies, or great pain, animals that 
have been considered voiceless suddenly give tongue. That 
hundreds of species of mammals and birds use their voices in 
promoting movements for their safety, there is no room to 



doubt. The only question is of the methods and the extent 
of voice used. Birds and men give expression to their pleasure 
or joy by singing. 

In the jungle and the heavily wooded wilderness, one hears 
really little of vocal wild-animal language. Through countless 
generations the noisiest animals have been the first ones to be 
sought out and kiUed by their enemies, and only the more 
silent species have survived. All the higher animals, as we 
call the higher vertebrates, have the ability to exchange 
thoughts and convey ideas; and that is language. 

At the threshold of this subject we are met by two interest- 
ing facts. Excepting the song-birds, the wild crektures of 
today have learned through instinct and accumulated ex- 
perience that silence promotes peace and long life. The bull 
moose who bawls through a mile of forest, and the bull elk 
who bugles not wisely but too well, soon find their heads 
hanging in some sportsman's dining-room, while the silent 
Virginia deer, like the brook, goes on forever. 

Association with man through countless generations has 
taught domestic animals not only the fact of their safety when 
giving voice, but also that very often there is great virtue in 
a vigorous outcry. With an insistent staccato neigh, the 
hungry horse jars the dull brain of its laggard master, and 
prompts him to "feed and water the stock." But how different 
is the cry of a lost horse, which calls for rescue. It cannot be 
imitated in printed words; but every plainsman knows the 
shrill and prolonged trumpet-call of distress that can be heard 
a mile or more, understandingly. 

And think of the vocabulary of the domestic chicken! 
Years of life in fancied security have developed a highly useful 
vocabulary of language calls and cries. The most important, 
and the best known, are the following: 

"Beware the hawk I"— "Coor ! Coor !" 
"Murder! Help!"— "Kee-owfe/ Koc-owk! Kse-owk!" 
"Come on"— "Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!" 
"Food here ! Food !"— "Cook-cook-cook-cook !" 
Announcement, or alarm — "Cut-cut-cut-do^-cut !" 


But does the wild jungle-fowl, the ancestor of our domestic 
chicken, indulge in all those noisy expressions of thought and 
feeling? By no means. I have lived for months in jungles 
where my hut was surrounded by jungle-fowl, and shot many 
of them for my table; but the only vocal soimd I ever heard 
from their small throats was the absurdly shrill bantam-like 
crow of the cock. And even that led to several fatalities in 
the ranks of Callus stanleyi. 

Domestic cattle, swine and fowls have each a language of 
their own, and as far as they go they are almost as clear-cut 
and understandable as the talk of human beings. Just how 
much more is behind the veil that limits our understanding we 
cannot say; but no doubt there is a great deal. 

But it is with the language of wild animals that we are most 
concerned. As already pointed out, wild creatures, other than 
song-birds, do not care to say much, because of the danger of 
attracting enemies that will exterminate them. Herein lies 
the extreme difficulty of ascertaining how wild beasts com- 
municate. In the Animallai Hills of southern India I hunted 
constantly for many weeks through forests actually teeming 
with big game. There were herds upon herds of elephants, 
gaur, axis deer, sambar deer, monkeys by the hundred, and a 
good sprinkling of bears, wild hogs and tigers. 

We saw hundreds upon hundreds of animals; but with the 
exception of the big black monkeys that used to swear at us, 
I can almost count upon my fingers the whole number of times 
that we heard animals raise their voices to communicate with 
each other. 

Ape Voices. Naturally it is of interest to know something 
of the voices of the animals that physically and mentally 
stand nearest to man. 

The wild gorilla has a voice almost equal to that of the 
chimpanzee, but in captivity he rarely utters any vocal sound 
other than a shriek, or scream. 

The baby orang-utan either whines or shrieks like a human 
child. The half-grown or adult orang when profoundly ex- 


cited bellows or roars, in a deep bass voice. Usually, howeveii 
it is a persistently silent animal. 

The chimpanzee has a voice, and vociferously expresses 
its emotions. 

First and most often is the plaintive, coaxing note, "Who'- 
06! who'-o6! who'-o6!" 

Then comes the angry and threatening, "Wah',wah',wah-! 
Wah'-hobl Wah'-hobl" 

Lastly we hear the fearful, high-pitched yell or shriek, 
"Ah-h-h-h!" or "E-e-e-e." 

The shriek, or scream, can be heard half a mile, and at 
close range it is literally ear-splitting. Usually it is accom- 
panied by violent stamping or pounding with the feet upon 
the floor. It may signify rage, or nothing more than the joy 
of living, and of having a place in which to yell. It is this 
cry that is uncannily human-like in sound, and when heard 
for the first time it seems to register anguish. 

In its Bomean jungle home, the orang-utan is nearly as 
silent as the grave. Never save once did I hear one utter a 
vocal sound. That was a deep bass roar emitted by an old 
male that I disturbed while he "was sleeping on the com- 
fortable nest of green branches that he had built for himself. 

Concerning the chimpanzee, the late Mr. Richard L. 
Gamer testified as follows: 

"Not- only does the chimpanzee often break the silence of 
the forest when all other voices are hushed, but he frequently 
answers the sounds of other animals, as if in mockery or 
defiance. . . . Although diurnal in habit, the chimpanzees 
often make the night reverberate with the sounds of their 
terrific screaming, which I have known them to continue at 
times for more than an hour, with scarcely a moment's pause, — 
not one voice but many, and within the area of a square mile 
or so I have distinguished as many as seven alternating adult 
male voices. 

"The gorilla is more silent and stoical than the'chimpanzee, 


but he is far from being mute. He appears to be devoid of 
all risibility, but he is often very noisy. Although diurnal in 
habit, he talks less frequently during the day than at night, 
but his silence is a natural consequence of his stealth and 
cunning. There are times, however, when he ignores all 
danger of betraying his whereabouts or his movements, and 
gives vent to a deluge of speech. At night his screams and 
shouts are terrific." 

The gibbons (including the siamang) have tremendous 
voices, with numerous variations, and they love to use them. 
My acquaintance with them began in Borneo, in the dense 
and dark coastal forest that there forms their home. I re- 
member their cries as vividly as if I had heard them again 
this morning. While feeding, or quietly enjojdng the 
morning sun, the gray gibbon {Hylohates concolor) emits in 
leisurely succession a low staccato, whistle-like cry, like "Hoot! 
Hoot! Hoot!" which one can easily counterfeit by whistling. 
This is varied by another whistle cry of three notes, thus: 
" Who-e6-ho6! Who-ed-ho6!" alsojto be duplicated by whistling. 
In hunting for specimens of that gibbon, for American museums, 
i could rarely locate a troop save by the tree-top talk of its 

But all this was only childish prattle in comparison with 
the daily performances of the big white-handed, and the black 
hoolock gibbons, now and for several years past residing in 
our Primate House. Every morning, and perhaps a dozen 
times during the day, those three gibbons go on a vocal ram- 
page and utter prolonged and ear-splitting cries and shrieks 
that make the welkin ring. The shrieking chorus is usually 
prolonged until it becomes tiresome to the monkeys. In all 
our ape and monkey experience we never have known its equal 
save in the vocal performances of Boma, our big adult male 
chimpanzee, the husband of Suzette. 

A baboon emits occasionally, and without any warning, 
a fearful explosive bark, or roar, that to visitors is as startling 


as the report of a gun. The commonest expressions are 
"Wah!" and "Wak'-hool", and the visitor who can hear it 
close at hand without jumping has good nerves. 

The big and solemn long-nosed monkey of Borneo (Nasdis 
larvatus) utters in his native tree-top (overhanging water), a 
cry like the resonant "honk" of a saxophone. He says plainly, 
"Kee honk," and all that I could make of its meaning was that 
it is used as the equivalent of "All's well." 

Of all the monkeys that I have ever known, either wild or 
in captivity, the red howlers of the Orinoco, in Venezuela, 
have the most remarkable voices, and make the most remark- 
able use of them. The hyoid cartilage is expanded, — for 
Nature's own particular reasons, — into a wonderful sound-box, 
as big as an English walnut, which gives to the adult voice a 
depth of pitch and a booming resonance that is impossible to 
describe. The note produced is a prolonged bass roar, in 
alternately rising and falling cadence, and in reality com- 
prising about three notes. It is the habit of troops of red 
howlers to indulge in nocturnal concerts, wherein four, five 
or six old males will pipe up and begin to howl in unison. The 
great volume of uncanny sound thus produced goes rolling 
through the still forest, far and wide; and to the white explorer 
who lies in his grass hammock in pitchy darkness, fighting off 
the mosquitoes and loneliness, and wondering from whence 
tomorrow's meals will come, the moral effect is gruesome and 

In captivity the youthful howler habitually growls and 
grumbles in a way that is highly amusing, and the absurd 
pitch of the deep bass voice issuing from so small an animal is 
cause for wonder. 

It is natural that we should look closely to the apes and 
monkeys for language, both by voice and sign. In 1891 there 
was a flood of talk on "the speech of monkeys," and it was not 
until about 1904 that the torrent stopped. At first the knowl- 
edge that monkeys can and do communicate to a limited 


extent by vocal sounds was hailed as a "discovery"; but 
unfortunately for science, nothing has been proved beyond 
the long-known fact that primates of a given species understand 
the meaning of the few sounds and cries to which their kind 
give utterance. 

Thus far I have never succeeded in teaching a chimpanzee 
or orang-utan to say even as much as "Oh" or "Ah." Nothing 
seems to be further from the mind of an orang than the idea 
of a new vocal utterance as a means to an end. 

Our Polly was the most affectionate and demonstrative 
chimpanzee that I have ever seen, and her reaction to my 
voice was the best that I have found in our many apes. She 
knew me well, and when I greeted her in her own language, 
usually she answered me promptly and vociferously. Often 
when she had been busy with her physical-culture exercises and 
Delsartean movements on the horizontal bars or the trapeze 
in the centre of her big cage, I tested her by quietly Joining 
the crowd of visitors in the centre of the room before her cage, 
and saying to her: "PoUy! Wah! Wah! Wah!" 

Nearly every time she would stop short, give instant 
attention and joyously respond "Wah! Wah! Wah!", repeating 
the cry a dozen times while she clambered down to the lower 
front bars to reach me with her hands. When particularly 
excited she would cry "Who-ool Who-ool Who-oo\" with great 
clearness and vehemence, the two syllables pitched four notes 
apart. This cry was uttered as a joyous greeting, and also 
at feeding-time, in expectation of food; but, simple as the 
task seems to be, I really do not know how to translate its 
meaning into English. In one case it appears to mean "How 
do you do?" and in the other it seems to stand for "Hurry up!" 

Polly screamed when angry or grieved, just like a naughty 
child; and her face assumed^ the extreme of screaming-child 
expression. She whined plaintively when coaxing, or when 
only slightly grieved. With these four manifestations her vocal 
powers seemed to stop short. Many times I opened her 


mouth widely with my fingers, and tried to surprise her into 
sajring "Ah," but with no result. It seems almost impossible 
to stamp the vocal-sound idea upon the mind of an orang- 
utan or chimpanzee. Polly uttered two distinct and clearly 
cut syllables, and it really seemed as if her vocal organs could 
have done more if called upon. 

The cries of the monkeys, baboons and lemurs are practi- 
cally nothing more than squeals, shrieks or roars. The ba- 
boons (several species, at least) bark or roar most explosively, 
using the syllable "Wah!" It is only by the most liberal 
interpretation of terms that such cries can be called language. 
The majority express only two emotions — dissatisfaction and 
expectation. Every primate calls for help in the same way 
that human beings do, by shrill screaming; but none of them 
ever cry "Oh" or "Ah." 

The only members of the monkey tribe who ever spoke to 
me in their native forests were the big black langurs of the 
Animallai HiUs in Southern India. They used to glare down 
at us, and curse us horribly whenever we met. Had we been 
big pythons instead of men they could not have said "Con- 
found you!" any more plainly or more vehemently than they 

In those museum-making days our motto was "All's fish 
that Cometh to net"; and we killed monkeys for their skins 
and skeletons the same as other animals. My brown-skinned 
Mulcer hunters said that the bandarlog hated me because of 
my white skin. At all events, as we stalked silently through 
those forests, half a dozen times a day we would hear an awfiil 
explosion overhead, startling to men who were stUl-hunting 
big game, and from the middle zone of the tree-tops black and 
angry faces would peer down at us. They said: "Wah! Wah! 
Wah! Ali-hoo-oo-koo-oo-koo-ool" and it was nothing else than 
cursing and blackguarding. How those monkeys did hate us! 
I never have encountered elsewhere anything like it in monkey- 


la 1902 there was a startling exhibition of monkey language 
at our Primate House. That was before the completion of 
the Lion House. We had to find temporary outdoor quarters 
for the big jaguar, "Senor Lopez"; and there being nothing 
else available, we decided to place him, for a few days only, 
in the big circular cage at the north end of the range of outside 
cages. It was May, and the baboons, red-faced monkeys," rhe- 
sus, green and many other of the monkeys were in their out- 
side quarters. 

I was not present when Lopez was turned into the big 
cage; but I heard it. Down through the woods to the polar 
bears' den, a good quarter of a mile, came a most awful uproar, 
made by many voices. The bulk of it was a medley of raucous 
yells and screeches, above which it was easy to distingmsh the 
fierce, dog-like barks and roars of the baboons. 

We knew at once that Lopez had arrived. Hunying up to 
the Primate House, we found the wire fronts of the outside 
cages literally plastered with monkeys and baboons, all in the 
wildest excitement. The jaguar was in fuU view of them, and 
although not one out of the whole lot, except the sapajous, 
ever had an ancestor who had seen a jaguar, one and all recog- 
nized a hostile genus, and a hereditary enemy. 

And how they cursed him, reviled him, and made hideous 
faces at him I The long-armed yellow baboons barked and 
roared until they were heard half a mile away. The ugly- 
tempered macaques and rhesus monkeys nearly burst with 
hatred and indignation. The row was kept up for a long time, 
and the monkey language that was lost to science on that 
occasion was, both in quantity and quality, beyond compare. 

Bear Language. In their native haunts bears are as lit- 
tle given to loud talk as other animals; but in roomy and 
comfortable captivity, where many are yarded together, they 
rapidly develop vocal powers. Our bears are such cheerful 
citizens, and they do so many droll things, that the average 
visitor works overtime in watching them. I have learned the 


language of our bears sufficiently that whenever I hear one of 
them give tongue I know what he says. For example : 

In warning or threatening an enemy, the sloth bear says: 
"Ach! Ach! Ach!" and the grizzly says: "Woof! Woof!" A 
fighting bear says: "Aw-aw-aw!" A baby's call for its mother 
is "Row! Row!" A bear's distress call is: "Eii-wow-oo-oo- 

But even in a zoological park it is not possible for everyone 
to recognize and interpret the different cries of bears, although 
the ability to do so is sometimes of value to the party of the 
second part. For example: 

One day in February I was sitting in my old office in the 
Service Building, engrossed in I know not what important and 
solemn matter. The park was quiet; for the snow lay nine 
inches deep over aU. There were no visitors, and the main- 
tenance men were silently shoveling. Over the hill from the 
bear dens came the voice of a bear. It said, as plainly as 
print: "Err-wow!" I said to myself: "That sounds like a 
distress call," and listened to hear it repeated. 

Again it came: "Err-wow!" 

I caught up my hat and hastened over the .hill toward the 
bear dens. On the broad concrete walk, about a himdred feet 
from the dens, four men were industriously shoveling snow, 
unaware that anything was wrong anywhere except on the 
pay-roll, opposite their names. 

Guided by the cries that came from "The Nursery" den, 
where six yearling cubs were kept, I quickly caught sight of 
the trouble. One of our park-born brown bear cubs was hang- 
ing fast by one forefoot from the top of the barred partition. 
He had cUmbed to the top of the ironwork, thrust one front 
paw through between two of the bars (for bears are the greatest 
busybodies on earth), and when he sought to withdraw it, the 
sharp point of a bar in the overhang of the tree-guard had 
buried itself in the back of his paw, and held him fast. It 
seemed as if his leg was broken, and also dislocated at the 


shoulder. No wonder the poor little chap squalled for help. 
His mother, on the other side of the partition, was almost 
frantic with baffled sympathy, for she could do nothing to 
help him. 

It did not take more than a quarter of a minute to have 
several men running for crowbars and other things, and within 
five minutes from the discovery we were in the den ready for 
action. The little chap gave two or three cries to let us know 
how badly it hurt his leg to hang there, then bent his small 
mind upon rendering us assistance. 

First we lifted him up bodily, and held him, to remove the 
strain. Then, by good luck, we had at hand a stout iron bar 
with a U-shaped end; and with that under the injured wrist, 
and a crowbar to spring the treacherous overhang, we lifted 
the foot clear, and lowered little Brownie to the floor. From 
first to last he helped us all he could, and seemed to realize 
that it was clearly "no fair" to bite or scratch. Fortunately 
the leg was neither broken nor dislocated, and although Brownie 
limped for ten days, he soon was all right again. 

After the incident had been closed, I gave the men a brief 
lecture on the language of bears, and the necessity of being 
able to recognize the distress call. 

You can chase bison, elephants and deer all day without 
hearing a single vocal utterance. They know through long 
experience the value of silence. 

The night after I shot my second elephant we noted an 
exception. The herd had been divided by our onslaught. 
Part of it had gone north, part of it south, and our camp for 
the night (beside the dead tusker) lay midway between the 
two. About bedtime the elephants began signalling to each 
other by trumpeting, and what they sounded was "The assem- 
bly." They called and answered repeatedly; and finally it 
became clear to my native followers that the two herds were 
advancing to unite, and were likely to meet in our vicinity. 
That particular trumpet call was different from any other 


I have ever heard. It was a regular "Hello" signal-call, 
entirely different from the "Tal-/oo-e" blast which once came 
from a feeding herd and guided us to it. 

But it is only on rare occasions that elephants commimi- 
cate with each other by sound. I once knew a general alarm 
to be communicated throughout a large herd by the sign 
language, and a retreat organized and carried out in absolute 
silence. Their danger signals to each other must have been 
made with their trunks and their ears; but we saw none of 
them, because all the animals were concealed from our view 
except when the two scouts of the herd were hunting for us. 

In captivity an elephant trumpets in protest, or through 
fear, or tJxrough rage; but I am obliged to confess that as yet 
I cannot positively distinguish one from the other. 

Once in the Zoological Park I heard our troublesome Indian 
elephant, Alice, roaring continuously as if in pain. It con- 
tinued at such a rate that I hurried over to the Elephant 
House to investigate. And there I saw a droU spectacle. 
Keeper Richards had taken Alice out into her yard for exer- 
cise and had ordered her to follow him. And there he was 
disgustedly marching around the yard while Alice marched 
after him at an interval of ten paces, quite free and untram- 
meled, but all the while lustily trumpeting and roaring in 
indignant protest. The only point at which she was hurt was 
in her feelings. 

Two questions that came into public notice concerning the 
voices of two important American animals have been perma- 
nently settled by "the barnyard naturalists" of New York. 

The Voice of the American Bison. In 1907 the state- 
ment of George Catlin, to the effect that in the fall the bellow- 
ings of buffalo bulls on the plains resembled the muttering of 
distant thunder, was denied and severely criticized in a sports- 
man's magazine. On October 4 of that year, while we were 
selecting the fifteen bison to be presented to the Government, 
to found the Wichita National Bison Herd, four of us heard 


our best bull bellow five times, while another did the same 
thing four times. 

The sound uttered was a deep-voiced roar, — not a grunt, — 
rising and falling in measured cadence, and prolonged about 
four or five seconds. It was totally different from the ordi- 
nary grunt of hunger, or the menace of an angry buffalo, which 
is short and sharp. In discussing the quality of the bellow, 
we agreed that it could properly be called a low roar. It is 
heard only in the rutting season, — the period described by 
Catlin, — and there is good reason to believe that Catlin's 
description is perfectly correct. 

The Scream of the Puma. This is a subject that will 
not lie still. I presume it wiU recur every five years as long 
as pumas endure. Uncountable pages of controversial letters 
have been expended upon the question: "Does the puma ever 
scream, like a woman in distress? " 

The true answer is easy, and uncontestable by people whose 
minds are open to the rules of evidence. 

Yes; the adult female puma does scream, — in the mating 
season, whenever it comes. It is loud, piercing, prolonged, 
and has the agonized voice qualities of a boy or a woman 
screaming from the pain of a surgical operation. To one who 
does not know the source or the cause, it is nerve-racking. 
When heard in a remote wilderness it must be truly fearsome. 
It says "Ow-w-w-w!" over and over. We have heard it a 
hundred times or more, and it easily carries a quarter of a mile. 

The language of animals is a long and interesting subject, — 
so much so that here it is possible only to sketch out and sug- 
gest its foundations and scope. On birds alone, an entire 
volume should be written; but animal intelligence is a subject 
as far reaching as the winds of the earth. 

No man who ever saw high in the heavens a V-shaped 
flock of wild geese, or heard the honk language either afloat, 
ashore or in the air, will deny the spoken language of that 
species. If any one should do so, let him listen to the wild- 


goose wonder tales of Jack Miner, and hear him imitate (to 
perfection) the honk call of the gander at his pond, calling to 
wild flocks in the sky and telling them about the corn and 
safety down where he is. 

The woodpecker drums on the high and dry limb of a dead 
tree his resounding signal-call that is nothing more nor less (in 
our view) than so much sign language. 

It was many years ago that we first heard in the welcome 
days of early spring the resounding "Boo-hoo-hoo" courting call 
of the cock pinnated grouse, rolling over the moist earth for 
a mile or more in words too plain to be misunderstood. 

The American magpie talks beautifully; but I regret to say 
that I do not understand a word of its language. One summer 
we had several fine specimens in the great flying-cage, with the 
big and showy waterfowl, condor, griffon vulture, ravens and 
crows. One of those magpies often came over to the side of 
the cage to talk to me, and as I believe, make complaints. 
Whether he complained about his big and bulky cagemates, or 
the keepers, or me, I could not tell; but I thought that his 
grievances were against the large birds. Whenever I climbed 
over the guard rail and stooped down, he would come close up 
to the wire, stand in one spot, and in a quiet, confidential tone 
talk to me earnestly and gesticulate with his head for five 
minutes straight. I have heard senile old men run on in low- 
voiced, unintelligible clack in precisely the same way. The 
modulations of that bird's voice, its inflections and its vocabu- 
lary were wonderful. From his manner a messenger from 
Mars might easily have inferred that the bird believed that 
every word of the discourse was fully understood. 

The lion roars, magnificently. The hyena "laughs"; the 
gray wolf gives a mournful howl, the coyote barks and howls, 
and the fox yaps. The elk bugles, the moose roars and bawls, 
in desire or defiance. The elephant trumpets or screams in 
the joy of good feeding, or in fear or rage; and it also rumbles 
deeply away down in its throat. The red squirrel barks and 


chatters, usually to scold some one whom he hates, but other 
small rodents know that silence is golden. 

The birds have the best voices of all creatures. They are 
the sweet singers of the animal world, and to the inquiring 
mind that field is a wonderland. 

The frogs are vociferous; and now if they were more silent 
they would last longer. 

Of all the reptiles known to me, only two utter vocal 
sounds, — the alligator and the elephant tortoise. The former 
roars or bellows, the latter grunts. 


TO the professional animal-man, year in and year out 
comes the eternal question, "Which are the most 
intelligent animals?" 

The question is entirely legitimate. What animals are the 
best exponents of animal intelligence? 

It seems to me that the numerous factors involved, and the 
comparisons that must be made, can best be expressed in fig- 
ures. Opinions that are based upon only one or two sets of 
facts are not worth much. There are about ten factors to be 
taken into account and appraised separately. 

In order to express many opinions in a small amount of 
space, we submit a table of estimates and summaries, covering 
a few mammalian species that are representative of many. 
But, try as they will, it is not Ukely that any two animal men 
will set down the same estimates. It all depends upon the 
wealth or the poverty of first-hand, eye-witness evidence. 
When we enter the field of evidence that must stand in quo- 
tation marks, we cease, to know where we will come out. We 
desire to state that nearly all of the figures in the attached 
table of estimates are based upon the author's own observa- 
tions, made during a period of more than forty years of ups 
and downs with wild animals. 







Perf ecUon in all = 100 





12; "^ 








































Indian Elephant 









































Big-Hom Sheep 









Mountain Goat 









Domestic Horse 



































Grizzly Bear 













Brown Bear (European ) 













Gray Wolf 






















Red Pox 











Domestic Dog 
































To the author, correspondence regarding the reasons tor these estimates 

According to the author's information and belief, these are 
"the most intelligent" animals: 


The Chimpanzee is the most intelligent of all animals below 
man. His mind approaches most closely to that of man, and 
it carries him farthest upward toward the human level. He 
can learn more by training, and learn more easily, than any 
other animal. 

The Orang-Utan is mentally next to the chimpanzee. 

The Indian Elephant in mental capacity is third from man. 

The high-class domestic Horse is a very wise and capable 
animal; but this is chiefly due to its age-long association with 
man, and education by him. Mentally the wild horse is a 
very different animal, and in the intellectual scale it ranks 
with the deer and antelopes. 

The Beaver manifests, in domestic economy, more intelli- 
gence, mechanical skill and reasoning power than any other 
wild, animal. 

The Lion is endowed with keen perceptive faculties,'reason- 
ing ability and judgment of a high order, and its mind is sur- 
prisingly receptive. 

The Grizzly Bear is believed to be the wisest of all bears. 

The Pack Rat {Neotona) is the intellectual phenomenon of 
the great group of gnawing animals. It is in a class by itself. 

The White Mountain Goat seems to be the wisest of all 
the mountain summit animals whose habits are known to 
zoologists and sportsmen. 

A high-class Dog is the animal that mentally is in closest 
touch with the mind, the feelings and the impulses of man; 
and it is the only one that can read a man's feelings from his 
eyes and his facial expression. 

The Marvelous Beaver. Let us consider this animal as 
an illuminating example of high-power intelligence. 

In domestic economy the beaver is the most intelligent of 
all living mammals. His inherited knowledge, his origiAal 
thought, his reasoning power and his engineering and mechani- 
cal skill in constructive works are marvelous and beyond com- 
pare. In Ms manifold industrial activities, there is no other 
mammal that is even a good second to him. 


He builds dams both great and small, to provide water in 
which to live, to store food and to escape from his enemies. 
He builds air-tight houses of sticks and mud, either as islands, 
or on the shore. When he cannot live as a pond-beaver with 
a house he cheerfully becomes a river-beaver. He lives in a 
river-bank burrow when house-building in a pond is impos- 
sible; and he wiU cheerfully tunnel under a stone wall from 
one-pond monotony, to go exploring outside. 

He cuts down trees, both small and large, and he makes 
them fall as he wishes them to fall. He trims off all branches, 
and leaves no "slash" to cumber the ground. He buries green 
branches, in great quantity, in the mud at the bottom of his 
pond, so that in winter he can get at them under a foot of 
solid ice. He digs canals, of any length he pleases, to float 
logs and billets of wood from hinterland to pond. 

If you are locating beavers in your own zoo, and are wise, 
you can induce beavers to build their dam where you wish it 
to be. This is how we did it! 

We dug out a pond of mud in order that the beavers might 
have a pond of water; and we wished the beavers to build a 
dam forty feet long, at a point about thirty feet from the iron 
fence where the brook ran out. On thinking it over we con- 
cluded that we could manage it by showing the animals where 
we wished them to go to work. 

We set a 12-inch plank on its edge, all the way across the 
dam site, and pegged it down. Above it the water soon formed 
a little pool and began to flow over the top edge in a very minia- 
ture waterfall. Then we turned loose four beavers and left 

The next morning we found a cart-load of sticks and fresh 
mud placed like a dam against the iron fence. In beaver 
language this said to us: 

"We would rather build our dam here, — ^if you don't mind. 
It will be easier for us, and quicker." 

We removed all their material; and in our language that 
action said: 


"No; we would rather have you build over the plank." 
The next night more mud and sticks piled against the fence 
said to us, 

"We really insist upon building it here!" 

We made a second clearance of their materials, sajring in 


"You shall not build against the fence! You must build 
where we teUyou!" 

Thereupon, the beavers began to build over the plank, 

"Oh, well, if you are going to make a fuss about it, we wiU 
let you have your way." 

So they built a beautiful water-tight dam precisely where 
we suggested it to them, and after that our only trouble was 
to keep them from overdoing the matter, and flooding the 
whole valley. 

I am not going to dwell upon the mind and manners of 
the beaver. The animal is well known. Three excellent books 
have been written and pictured about him, in the language 
that the General Reader understands. They are as follows: 
"The American Beaver and His Works," Lewis H. Morgan 
(1868); "The Romance of the Beaver," A. R. Dugmore (no 
date); "History and Traditions of the Canada Beaver," H. 
T. Martin (1892). 

"Clever Hans," the "Thinking Horse." From 1906 
to 1910 the world read much about a wonderful educated horse 
owned and educated by Herr von Osten, in Germany. The 
German scientists who first came in touch with "Hans" were 
quite bowled over by the discovery that that one horse could 
"think." The Review of Reviews said, in 1910: 

"It may be recalled that Clever Hans knew figures and 
letters, colors and tones, the calendar and the dial, that he 
could count and read, deal with decimals and fractions, speU 
out answers to questions with his right hoof, and recognize 
people from having seen their photographs. In every case 


his 'replies' were given in the form of scrapings with his right 

"Whether the questioner was von Osten, who had worked 
with him for seven years, or a man like Schillings, who was a 
complete stranger, seemed immaterial; and this went farthest, 
perhaps, in disposing of all talk of 'collusion' between master 
and beast." 

Now, by the bald records of the case the fact was fixed for 
all time that Hans was the most wonderful mental prodigy 
that ever bore the form of a four-footed animal. His learning 
and his performances were astounding, and even uncanny. I 
do not care how he was trained, nor by what process he received 
ideas and reacted to them! He was a phenomenon, and I 
doubt whether this world ever sees his like again. His mas- 
tery of figures alone, no matter how it was wrought, was 
enough to make any animal or trainer illustrious. 

But eventually Clever Hans came to grief. He was osten- 
sibly thrown off his pedestal, in Germany, by human jealousy 
and egotism. Several industrious German scientists deliber- 
ately set to work to discredit him, and they stuck to it imtil 
they accomplished that task. The chief instrument in this 
was no less a man than the director of the "Psychological 
Institute" of the Berlin University, Professor Otto Pfungst. 
He found that when Hans was put on the witness stand and 
subjected to rigid cross examinations by strangers, his answers 
were due partly to telepathy and hypnotic influencel For ex- 
ample, the discovery was made that Hans could not always 
give the correct answer to a problem in figures unless it was 
known to the questioner himself. 

To Hans's inquisitors this discovery imparted a terrible 
shock. Itdidnot look like "thinking" after all! The mental 
process was different from the process of the German mind! 
The wonderful fact that Hans could remember and recognize 
and reproduce the ten digits was entirely lost to view. At 
once a shout went up all over Germany, — ^in the scientific 


circle, that Hans was an "impostor," that he could not "think," 
and that his mind was nothing much after all. 

Poor Hans! The glory that should have been his, and 
imperishable, is gone. He was the victim of scientists of one 
idea, who had no sense of proportion. He truly was a think- 
ing horse; and we are sure that there are millions of men whose 
minds could not be developed to the point that the mind of 
that "dumb" animal attained, — no, not even with the aid of 
hypnotism and telepathy. 

The bare fact that a horse can be influenced by occull 
mental powers proves the close parallelism that exists between 
the brains of men and beasts. 

The Trap-Door Spider. Let no one suppose for one 
moment that animal mind and intelligence is limited to the 
brain-bearing vertebrates. The scope and activity of the 
notochord in some of the invertebrates present phenomena far 
more wonderful per capita than many a brain produces. 
Interesting books have been written, and more will be written 
hereafter, on the minds and doings of ants, bees, wasps, spiders 
and other insects. 

Consider the ways and means of the ant-lion of the East, 
and the trap-door spider of|the western desert regions. As one 
object lesson from the insect world, I will flash upon the screen, 
for a moment only, the trap-door spider. This wonderful insect 
personage has been exhaustively studied by Mr. Raymond L. 
Ditmars, in the development of a series of moving pictures, and 
at my request he has contributed the following graphic descrip- 
tion of this spider's wonderful work. 

"The trap-door spiders, inhabiting the warmer portions of 
both the Old and New Worlds, dig a deep tunnel in the soil, 
line this with a silken wallpaper, then construct a hinged 
door at the top so perfectly fitted and camouflaged with soil, 
that when it is closed there is no indication of the burrow. 
Moreover, the inside portion of the door of some species is so 
constructed that it may be "latched," there being two holes 


near the edge, precisely placed where the curved fangs may. be 
inserted and the door held firmly closed. Also, the trap-door 
of a number of species is so designed as to be absolutely rain- 
proof, being bevelled and as accurately fitting a corresponding 
bevel of the tube as the setting of a compression valve of 
a gasolene engine. 

"The study of a number of specimens of our southern 
California species, which builds the cork-t3^e door, including 
observations of them at night, when they are particularly 
active, indicates that the construction of the tube involves 
other material than the silken lining employed by many 
burrowing spiders. In the excavation of the tube and retention 
of the walls, the spider appears to employ a glairy substance, 
which thoroughly saturates the soil and renders the interior 
of the tube of almost cement-like hardness. It is then plastered 
with a thick jet of silk from the spinning glands. This in- 
terior finishing process appears to be quite rapid, a burrow 
being readily lined within a couple of hours. 

"The construction of the trap-door is a far more complicated 
process, this convex, beautifully bevelled entrance with its 
hinge requiring real scientific skill. Judging from observations 
on a number of specimens, the work is done from the outside, 
the spider first spinning a net-like covering over the mouth of 
the tube. This is thickened by weaving the body over the 
net, each motion leaving a smoky trail of silk. Earth is then 
shoveled into the covering, the spider carefxilly pushing the 
particles toward the centre, which soon sags, and assumes the 
proper curvature, and automatically moulds against the 
bevelled waUs of the tube. 

"The shoveling process must be nicely regulated to produce 
the proper bevel and thickness of the door. Then the cement- 
ing process is applied to the top, rendering the door a solid 
unit. From the actions of these spiders,— which often calmly 
rest an hour without a move, — ^it appears that the edges of 
the door are now subjected, by the stout and sharp fangs, to 


a cutting process like that of a can opener, leaving a portion 
of the marginal silk to act as a hinge. This hinge afterward 
receives some finishing touches, and the top of the door is 
either pebbled or finished with a few fragments of dead vegeta- 
tion, cemented on, in order to exactly match the surrounding 


EVERY hannless wild bird and mammal has the right to 
live out its life according to its destiny; and man is in 
honor bound to respect those rights. At the same time 
it is a mistake to regard each wild bird or quadruped as a 
sacred thing, which under no circumstances may be utilized 
by man. We are not fanatical Hindus of the castes which 
religiously avoid the "taking of Hfe" of any kind, and gently 
push aside the flea, the centipede and the scorpion. The 
reasoning powers of such people are strictly limited, the same 
as those of people who are opposed to the removal by death 
of the bandits and murderers of the human race. 

The highest duty of a reasoning being is to reason. We 
have no moral or legal right to act like idiots, or to become a 
menace to society by protecting criminal animals or criminal 
men from adequate punishment. Like the tree that is known 
by its fruit, every alleged "reasoning being" is to be judged 
by the daily output of his thoughts. 

Toward wild life, our highest duty is to be sane and sen- 
sible, in order to be just, and to promote the greatest good for 
the greatest number. Be neither a Hindu fanatic nor a cruel 
game-butcher like a certain wild-animal slaughterer whom I 
knew, who while he was on earth earned for himself a place 
in the hottest comer of the hereafter, and quickly passed on 
to occupy it. 

The following planks constitute a good platform on which 
to base our relations with the wild animal world, and by which 
to regulate our duty to the creatures that have no means of 
defense against the persecutions of cruel men. They may De 



regarded as representing the standards that have been fixed 
by enlightened and humane civilization. 

The Wild Antbials' Bill of Rights 

This Bill of Rights is to be copied and displayed conspicu- 
ously in an zoological parks and gardens, zoos and menageries; 
in all theatres and shows where animal performances are given, 
and in all places where wild animals and birds are trained, 
' sold or kept for the pleasure of their owners. 

Article 1. In view of the nearness of the approach of the 
higher animals to the human level, no just and humane man can 
deny that those wild animals have certain rights which man is 
in honor bound to respect. 

Art. 2. The fact that God gave man "dominion over the 
beasts of the field" does not imply a denial of animal rights, 
any more than the supremacy of a human government conveys 
the right to oppress and maltreat its citizens. 

Art. 3. Under certain conditions it is justifiable for man 
to kill'a limited nimiber of the so-called game animals, on the 
same basis of justification that domestic animals and fowls may 
be killed for food, ' 

Art. 4. While the trapping of fur-bearing animals is a 
necessary evil, that evil must be minimized by reducing the 
sufferings of trapped animals to the lowest possible point, and 
. by preventing wasteful trapping. 

Art. 5. The killing of harmless mammals or birds solely 
for "sport," and without utilizing them when killed, is murder; 
and no good and humane man will permit himself to engage 
in any such offenses against good order and the rights of wild 

Art. 6. Shooting at sea-going creatures from moving ves- 
sels, without any possibility of securing them if killed or 
wounded, is cruel, reprehensible, and criminal, and everywhere , 
should be forbidden by ship captains, and also by law, under 

Art. 7. The extermination of a harmless wild animal spe- 


cies is a crime; but the regulated destruction of wild pests that 
have been proven guilty, is sometimes necessary and justifiable. 

Art. 8. No group or species of birds or mammals that is 
accused of offenses sufficiently grave to merit destruction shall 
be condemned undefended and unheard, nor without adequate 
evidence of a character which woxild be acceptable in a court 
of law. 

Art. 9. The common assumption that every bird or mam- 
mal that offends, or injures the property of any man, is neces- 
sarily deserving of death, is absurd and intolerable. The death 
penalty should be the last resort, not the first one! 

Art. 10. Any nation that fails adequately to protect its 
crop-and-tree-protecting birds deserves to have its fields and 
forests devastated by predatory insects. 

Art. 11. No person has any moral right to keep a wild 
mammal, bird, reptile or fish in a state of uncomfortable, un- 
happy or miserable captivity, and aU such practices should be 
prevented by law, under penalty. It is entirely feasible for a 
judge to designate a competent person as a referee to examine 
and decide upon each case. 

Art. 12. A wild creature that cannot be kept in comfort- 
able captivity should not be kept at all; and the evils to be 
guarded against are cruelly small quarters, too much darkness, 
too much Ught, uncleanliness, bad odors, and bad food. A fish 
in a glass globe, or a live bird in a cage the size of a collar-box 
is a case of cruelty. 

Art. 13. Every captive animal that is suffering hopelessly 
from disease or the infirmities of old age has the right to be 
painlessly relieved of the burdens of life. 

Art. .14. Every keeper or owner of a captive wild animal 
who through indolence, forgetfulness or cruelty permits a wild 
creature in his charge to perish of cold, heat, hunger or thirst 
because of his negligence, is guilty of a grave misdemeanor, 
and he should be punished as the evidence and the rights of 
captive animals demand. 

Art. 15. An animal in captivity has a right to do all the 


damage to its surroundings that it can do, and it is not to be 
punished therefor. 

Art. 16. The idea that all captive wild animals are 
necessarily "miserable" is erroneous, because some captive 
animals are better fed, better protected and are more happy 
in captivity than similar animals are in a wild state, beset by 
dangers and harassed by hunger and thirst. It is the opinion 
of the vast majority of civilized people that there is no higher 
use to which a wild bird or mammal can be devoted than to 
place it in perfectly comfortable captivity to be seen by mil- 
lions of persons who desire to make its acquaintance. 

Art. 17. About ninety-five per cent of aU the wild mam- 
mals seen in captivity were either born in captivity or cap- 
tured"when in their infancy, and therefore have no ideas of 
freedom, or visions of their wild homes; consequently their 
supposed "pining for freedom" often is more imaginary than 

Art. 18. A wild animal has no more inherent right to 
live a life of lazy and luxurious ease, and freedom from all 
care, than a man or woman has to live without work or family 
cares. In the large cities of the world there are many millions 
of toiling humans who are worse off per capita as to burdens 
and sorrows and joys than are the beasts and birds in a well 
kept zoological park. "Freedom" is comparative only, not 

Art. 19. While the use of trained animals in stage per- 
formances is not necessarily cruel, and while training opera- 
tions are based chiefly upon kindness and reward, it is neces- 
sary that vigilance should be exercised to insure that the cages 
and stage quarters of such animals shall be adequate in size, 
properly lighted and acceptably ventilated, and that cruel 
punishments shall not be inflicted upon the animals themselves. 

Art. 20. The training of wild animals may, or may not, 
involve cruelties, according to the intelligence and the moral 
status of the trainer. This is equally true of the training of 


children, and the treatment of wives and husbands. A reason- 
able blow with a whip to a mean and refractory animal in 
captivity is not necessarily an act of cruelty. Every such act 
must be judged according to the evidence. 

Art. 21. It is unjust to proclaim that "all wild animal 
performances are cruel" and therefore should be prohibited 
by law. The claim is untrue, and no lawmaker should pay 
heed to it. Wild animal performances are no more cruel or 
unjust than men-and-women performances of acrobatics. 
Practically all trained animals are well fed and tended, they 
welcome their performances, and go through them with lively 
interest. Such performances, when good, have a high educa- 
tional value, — but not to closed minds. 

Art. 22. Every bull-fight, being brutally unfair to the 
horses and the bull engaged and disgustingly cruel, is an unfit 
spectacle for humane and high-minded people, and no Christian 
man or woman can attend one without self-stultification. 

Art. 23. The western practice of "buUdogging," now 
permitted in some Wild West shows, is disgusting, degrading, 
and never should be permitted. 

Art. 24. The use of monkeys by organ-grinders is cruel, 
it is degrading to the monkeys, and should in all states be 
prohibited by law. 

Art. 25. The keeping of live fishes in glass globes nearly 
always ends in cruelty and suffering, and should ever)rwhere 
be prohibited by law. A round glass straight-jacket is just 
as painful as any other kind. 

Art. 26. The sale and use of chained live chameleons as 
ornaments and playthings for idiotic or vicious men and chil- 
dren always means death by slow torture for the reptile, and 
should in all states be prohibited by law. 





WE repeat that the most interesting features of a mid 
animal are its mind, -its thoughts, and the results of its 
reasoning. Besides these, its classification, distribution 
and anatomy are of secondary importance; but at the same 
time they help to form the foundation on -which to build the 
psychology of species and individuals. Let no student make 
the mistake of concluding that when he has learned an animal's 
place in nature there is nothing more to pursue. 

After fifty years of practical experience with wild animals 
of many spedes, I am reluctantly compelled to give the prize 
for greatest cuiming and foresight in self-preservation to the 
common brown rat, — the accursed "domestic" rat that has 
adopted man as his perpetual servant, and regards man's 
goods as his lawful prey. When all other land animals have 
been exterminated from the earth, the brown rat will remain, 
to harry and to rob the Last Man. f 

The brown rat has persistently accompanied man all ovct 
the world. Millions have been spent in fighting him and the 
bubonic-plague flea that he cheerfully carries in his offensive 
fur. For him no place that contains food is too hot or too cold, 
too wet or too dry. Many old sailors claim to believe that 
rats will desert at the dock an outward-bound ship that is 
fated to be lost at sea; but that certificate of superhuman 
foreknowledge needs a backing of evidence before it can be 

Of all wild animals, rats do the greatest number of "impos- 



sible" things. We have matched our wits against rat cunning 
until a madhouse yawned before us. Twice in my life all my 
traps and poisons have utterly failed, and left me faintly 
asking: .4re rats possessed of occult powers? Once the answer 
to that was furnished by an old he-one who left his tail in 
my steel trap, but a little later caught himself in a trap-like 
space in the back of the family aeolian, and ignominiously 
died there, — a victim of his own error in judging distances 
without a tape line. 

Tomes might be written about the minds and manners of 
the brown rat, setting forth in detail its wonderful intelligence 
in quickly getting wise to new food, new shelter, new traps and 
new poisons. Six dead rats are, as a rule, sufl&dent to put any 
new trap out of business; but poisons and infections go farther 
before being found out.* 

The championship for keen strategy in self-preservation 
belongs to the musk-oxen for their wolf-proof circle of heads 
and horns. Every musk-ox herd is a mutual benefit life 
insurance company. When a gaunt and hungry wolf-pack 
appears, the adult bull and cow musk-oxen at once form a 
dose drde, with the calves and young stock in the centre. 
That deadly ring of lowered heads and sharp horns, all hung 
precisely right to puncture and deflate hostile wolves, is im- 
pregnable to fang and claw. The arctic wolves know this well. 
Mr. Stefansson says it is the settled habit of wolf packs of 
Banks Land to pass musk-ox herds without even provoking 
them to "fall in" for defense. 

Judging by the facts that Charles L. Smith and the Norboe 
brothers related to Mr. PhiUips and me around our camp-fires 
in the Canadian Rockies, the wolverine is one of the most 
cunning wild animals of all North America. This is a large 
order; for the gray wolf and grizzly bear are strong candidates 
for honors in that contest. 

The greatest cunning of the wolverine is manifested in rob- 

*For home use, my best rat weapon is Toveh-on-rats, generously mixed with butter and 
spread liberally on very thin slices of bread. It has served me well in effecting clearances. 


bing traps, stealing the trapper's food and trap-baits, and at the 
same time avoiding the traps set for him. He is wonderfully 
expert in springing steel traps for the bait or prey there is in 
them, without getting caught himself. He will follow up a 
trap line for miles, springing all traps and devouring all baits 
as he goes. Sometimes in sheer wantonness he will throw a 
trap into a river, and again he will bury a trap in deep snow. 
Dead martens in traps are savagely torn from them. Those 
that can not be eaten on the spot are carried off and skilfully 
cached under two or three feet of snow. 

Trapper Smith once set a trap for a wolverine, and planted 
dose behind it a young moose skull with some flesh upon it. 
The wolverine came in the night, started at a point well away 
from the trap, dug a tunnel through six feet of snow, fetched up 
well behind the trap, — and triumphantly dragged away the 
head through his tunnel. 

From the testimony of W. H. Wright, of Spokane, in his 
interesting book on "The Grizzly Bear," and for other reasons, 
I am convinced that the Rocky Mountain silver-tip grizzly 
is our brightest North American animal, and very keen of nose, 
eye, ear and brain. Mr. Wright says that "the grizzly bear 
far excels in cunning any other animal found throughout the 
Rocky Mountains, and, for that matter, he far excels them all 
combined." While the last clause is a large order, I wiU not 
dispute the opinion of a man of keen intelligence who has 
lived much among the most important and interesting wild 
animals of the Rockies. 

In the Bitter Root Mountains Mr. Wright and his hunting 
party once set a bear trap for a grizzly, in a pen of logs, 
well baited with fresh meat. On the second day they found 
the pen demolished, the bait taken out, and everything that 
was movable piled on the top of the trap. 

The trap was again set, this time loosely, under a bed of 
moss. The grizzly came and joyously ate all the meat that 
was scattered around the trap, but the moss and the trap were 


left untouched. And then followed a major operation in bear 
trapping. A mile away there was a steep slope of smooth 
rock, bounded at its foot by a creek. On one side was a huge 
tangle of down timber, on the other side loomed some im- 
passable rocks; and a tiny meadow sloped away at the top. 
The half-fleshed carcasses of two dead elk were thrown half 
way down the rock slide, to serve as a bait. On the two sides 
two bear guns were set, and to their triggers were attached 
two long silk fish-lines, stretched taut and held parallel to each 
other, extending across the rocky slope. The idea was that 
the bear could not by any possibility reach the bait from above 
or below, without setting oS. at least one gun, and getting a 
bullet through his shoulders. 

On the first night, no guns went off. The next morning it 
was found that the bear had crossed the stream and climbed 
straight up toward the bait until he reached the first fish-line; 
where he stopped. Without pressing the string sufficiently to 
set off its gun, he followed it to the barrier of trees. Being 
balked there, he turned about, retraced his steps carefully and 
followed the string to the barrier of rocks. Being blocked 
there, he back-tracked down the slide and across the stream, 
over the way he came. Then he widely circled the whole 
theatre, and came down toward the bait from the little meadow 
at its top of the slide. 

Presently he reached the upper fish-line, twelve feet away 
from the first one. First he followed this out to the log barrier, 
then back to the rock ledge that was supposed to be unclimb- 
able. There he scrambled up the "impossible" rocks, ne- 
gotiated the ledge foot by foot, and successfully got around 
the end of line No. 2. Getting between the two lines he 
sailed out across the slope to the elk carcasses, feasted sump- 
tuously, and then meandered out the way he came, without 
having disturbed a soul. 

All this was done at night, and in darkness; and presumably 
that bear is there to this day, alive and well. No wonder Mr. 


Wright has a high opinion of the grizzly bear as a thinking 

In hiding their homes and yoimg, either in burrows or m 
nests on the ground, wild rabbits and hares are wonderfully 
skilful, even under new conditions. Being quite unable to 
fight, or even to dig deeply, they are wholly dependent upon 
their wits in keeping their young alive by hiding them. 
Thanks to their keenness in concealment, the gray rabbit is 
plentiful throughout the eastern United States in spite of its 
millions of enemies. Is it not wonderful? The number killed 
by hunters last year in Pennsylvania was about 3,500,000! 

The most amazing risk that I ever saw taken by a rabbit 
was made by a gray rabbit that nested in a shallow hole in the 
middle of a lawn-mower lawn east of the old National Museum 
building in Washington. The hollow was like that of a small 
wash-basin, and when at rest in it with her young ones the 
neutral gray back of the mother came just level with the top 
of the ground. At the last, when her young were almost 
large enough to get out and go under their own steam, a lawn- 
mower artist chanced to look down at the wrong moment and 
saw the family. Evidently that mother believed that the 
boldest ventures are those most likely to win. 

Among the hoofed and horned animals of North America 
the white-tailed deer is the shrewdest in the recognition of its 
enemies, the wisest in the choice of cover, and in measures for 
self-preservation. It seems at first glance that the buck is 
more keen-witted than the doe; but this is a debatable question. 
Throughout the year the buck thinks only of himself. During 
fully one-half the year the doe is burdened by the cares of 
motherhood, and the paramount duty of saving her fawns from 
their numerous enemies. This, I am quite sure, is the handicap 
which makes it so much easier to kill a doe in the autumn 
hunting season than to bag a fully antlered and sophisticated 
buck who has only himself to consider. 

The white-tailed deer saves its life by skulking low in 


timber and thick brush. This is why it so successfully resists 
the extermination that has ahnost swept the mule deer, ante- 
lope, white goat, moose and elk from all the hunting-grounds 
of the United States. Thanks to its alertness in seeing its 
enemies first, its skill and quickness in hiding, and Us mental 
keenness in recognizing and using deer sanctuaries, the white- 
tailed or "Virginia" deer will outlive all the other hoofed 
animals of North America. In Pennsylvania they know enough 
to rush for the wire-bounded protected area whenever the 
hunters appear. That state has twenty-six such deer sanc- 
tuaries, — well filled with deer. 

The moose and caribou dwell upon open or half-open 
ground, and are at the mercy of the merciless long-range rifles. 
Their keenness does not count much against rifles that can 
shoot and kill at a quarter of a mile. In the rutting season the 
buU moose of Maine or New Brunswick is easily deceived by 
the "call" of a birch-bark megaphone in the hands of a moose 
hunter who imitates the love call of the cow moose so skilfully 
that neither moose nor man can detect the falsity of the lure. 

The mountain sheep is wide-eyed, alert and ready to nin, 
but he dwells in exposed places from the high foothills up to 
the mountain summits, and now even the most^bungling 
hunter can find him and kill him at long range. In the days 
of black powder and short ranges the sheep had a chance to 
escape; but now he has none whatever. He has keener vision 
and more alertness than the goat, but as a real life-saving 
factor that amounts to nothing! Wild sheep are easilyand 
quickly exterminated. 

The mountain goat has no protection except elevation and 
precipitous rocks, and to the hunter who has the energy to 
dimb up to him he, too, is easy prey. Usually his biped 
enemy finds him and attacks him in precipitous mountains, 
where running and hiding are utterly impossible. When 
discovered on a ledge two feet wide leading across the face 
of a precipice, poor Billy has nothing to do but to take the 


bullets as they come until he reels and falls far down to the 
cruel slide-rods. He has a wonderful mind, but its qualities 
and its usefulness belong in Chapter XIII. 

Warm-Coated Animals Avoid "Fresh Air." On this 
subject there is a strange divergence of reasoning power be- 
tween the wild animals of cold countries and the sleeping- 
porch advocates of today. 

Even the most warm-coated of the fur-bearing animals, 
such as the bears, foxes, beavers, martens and mink, and also 
the burrowing rodents, take great pains to den up in winter 
just as far from the "fresh air" of the cold outdoors as they can 
attain by deep denning or burrowing. The prairie-dog not 
only ensconces himself in a cul-de-sac at the end of a hole 
fourteen feet deep and long, but as winter sets in he also 
tightly plugs up the mouth of his den with moist earth. When 
sealed up in his winter den the black bear of the north draws 
his supply of fresh air through a hole about one inch in diameter, 
or less. 

But the human devotees of fresh air reason in the opposite 
direction. It is now the regular thing for mothers to open 
wide to the freezing air of out-doors either one or all the windows 
of the rooms in which their children sleep, giving to each child 
enough fresh air to supply ten full-grown elephants, or twenty 
head of horses. And the final word is the "sleeping-porch!" 
It matters not how deadly damp is the air along with its 33 
degrees of cold, or the velocity of the wind, the fresh air must 
be delivered. The example of the fat and heavily furred wild 
beast is ignored; and I just wonder how many people in the 
United States, old and young, have been killed, or permanently 
injured, by fresh air, during the last fifteen years. 

And furthermore. Excepting the hoofed species, it is the 
universal rule of the wild animals of the cold-winter zones of 
the earth that the mother shaU keep her helpless young close 
beside her in the home nest and keep them warm partly by the 
warmth of her own body. The wild fur-clad mother does not 


maroon her helpless offspring in an isolated cot in a room 
apart, upon a thin mattress and in an atmosphere so cold that 
it is utterly impossible for the poor little body and limbs to 
warm it and keep it warm. Yet many human mothers do just 
that, and some take good care to provide a warmer atmosphere 
for themselves than they joyously force upon their helpless 

No dangerous fads should be forced upon defenseless 
children or animals. 

A proper amount of fresh air is very desirable, but the in- 
take of a child is much less than that of an elephant. Besides, 
if Nature had intended that men should sleep outdoors in 
winter, with the moose and caribou, we would have been 
furnished with ruminant pelage and fat. 



I Fall men could know how greatly the human species varies 
from highest to lowest, and how the minds and emotions 
of the lowest men parallel and dove-tail with those of the 
highest quadrupeds and birds, we might be less obsessed with 
our own human ego, and more appreciative of the intelligence 
of animals. 

A thousand times in my life my blood has been brought to 
the boiling point by seeing or reading of the cruel practices of 
ignorant and vicious men toward animals whom they despised 
because of their alleged standing "below man." By his 
vicious and cruel nature, many a man is totally unfitted to 
own, or even to associate with, dogs, horses and monkeys. 
Many persons are bom into the belief that every man is 
necessarily a "lord of creation," and that all animals per se 
are man's lawful prey. In the vicious mind that impression 
increases with age. Minds of the better classes can readily 
learn by precept or by reasoning from cause to effect the duty of 
man to observe and defend the God-given rights of animals. 
It was very recently that I saw on the street a group that 
represented man's attitude toward wild animals. It con- 
sisted of an unclean and vicious-looking man in tramp's 
clothing, grinding an offensive hand-organ and domineering 
over a poor little terrorized "ringtail" monkey. The wretched 
mite from the jungle was encased in a heavy woolen straight- 
jacket, and there was a strap around its loins to which a stout 
cord was attached, running to the Root of All Evil. The 
pavement was hot, but there with its bare and tender feet on 
the hot concrete, the sad-eyed little waif painfully moved 


about, peering far up into the faces of passers-by for sympathy, 
but all the time furtively and shrinkingly watching its tor- 
mentor. Every now and then the hairy old tramp would jerk 
the monkey's cord, each time giving the frail creature a violent 
bodily wrench from head to foot. I think that string was 
jerked about forty times every hour. 

And that exhibition of monkey torture in a monkey hell 
continues in summer throughout many states of our country, 
— because "it pleases the children!" The use of monkeys 
with hand-organs is a cruel outrage upon the monkey tribe, and 
no civilized state or municipality should tolerate it. I call 
upon all humane persons to put an end to it. 

As an antidote to our vaulting human egotism, we should 
think often upon the closeness of mental contact between the 
highest animals and the lowest men. In drawing a parallel 
between those two groups, there are no single factors more 
valuable than the home, and the family food supply. These 
hark back to the most primitive instincts of the vertebrates. 
They are the bedrock foundations upon which every species 
rests. As they are stable or unstable, good or bad, so lives 
or dies the individual, and the species also. 

In employing the term "highest animals" I wish to be 
understood as referring to the warm-blooded vertebrates, and 
not merely the apes and monkeys that both structurally and 
mentally are nearest to man. 

Throughout my lifetime I have been by turns amazed, 
entertained and instructed by the marvelous intelligence and 
mechanical skill of small mammals in constructing burrows, and 
of certain birds in the construction of their nests. Today the 
hanging nest of the Baltimore oriole is to me an even greater 
wonder than it was when I first saw one over sixty years ago. 
Even today the mechanical skiU involved in its construction 
is beyond my comprehension. My dull brain can not figure out 
the processes by which the bird begins to weave its hanging 
purse at the tip end of the most unstable of all earthly building 


sites, — a down-hanging elm-tree branch that is swayed to and 
fro by every passing breeze. The situation is so "impossible" 
that thus far no moving picture artist has ever caught and 
recorded the process. 

Take in your hand a standard oriole nest, and examine it 
thoroughly. First you will note that it is very strong, and 
thoroughly durable. It can stand the lashings of the fiercest 
gales that visit our storm-beaten shore. 

How long would it take a man to unravel that nest, wisp 
by wisp, and resolve it into a loose pile of materials? Certainly 
not less than an entire day. Do you think that even your 
skilful fingers, — ^unassisted by needles, — could in two days, or 
in three, weave of those same materials a nest like that, that 
would function as did the original? I doubt it. The materials 
consist of long strips of the thin inner bark of trees, short 
strings, and tiny grass stems that are long, pliable and tough. 
Who taught the oriole how to find and to weave those rare and 
hard-to-find materials? And how did it manage all that 
weaving with its beak only? Let the wise ones answer, if they 
can; for I confess that I can not! 

Down in Venezuela, in the delta of the Orinoco River, 
and elsewhere, lives a black and yellow bird called the giant 
cacique (pronounced cay-seek'), which as a nest-builder far 
surpasses our oriole. Often the cacique's hanging nest is from 
four to six feet long. The oriole builds to escape the red 
squirrels, but the cacique has to reckon with the prehensile- 
tailed monkeys. 

Sometimes a dozen caciques will hang their nests in close 
proximity to a wasps' nest, as if for additional protection. 
A cacique's nest hangs like a grass rope, with a commodious 
purse at its lower end, entered by a narrow perpendicular slit 
a foot or so above the terminal facilities. It is impossible to 
achieve one of these nests without either shooting off the limb 
to which it hangs, or felling the tree. If it hangs low enough 
a charge of coarse shot usually will cut the limb, but if high, 

fa a 
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cutting it down with a rifle bullet is a more serious matter. 

To our Zoological Park visitors the African weaver birds are 
a wonder and a delight. Orioles and caciques do not build 
nests in captivity, but the weavers blithely transfer their 
activities to their spacious cage in our tropical-bird house. 
The bird-men keep them supplied with raffia grass, and they do 
the rest. Fortunately for us, they weave nests for fun, and 
work at it all the year roimd 1 Millions of visitors have watched 
them doing it. To facilitate their work the upper half of their 
cage is judiciously supplied with tree-branches of the proper 
size and architectural slant. The weaving covers many 
horizontal branches. Sometimes a group of nests will be tied 
together in a structure four feet long; and it branches up, or 
down, or across, seemingly without rh3Tne or reason. 

Some of the weavers, which inhabit Africa, Malayans and 
Australia, are "communal" nest-builders. They build colonies 
of nests, dose together. Imagine twenty-five or more Balti- 
more orioles massing their nests together on one side of a 
single tree, in a genuine village. That is the habit of some of 
the weaver birds; — and this briugs us to what is called the 
most wonderful of all nianifestations of house-building in- 
telligence among birds. It is the community house of the 
little sociable weaver-bird of South Africa {Philetarus socius). 
Having missed seeing the work of this species save in museums, 
I will quote from the Royal Natural History, written by the 
late Dr. Richard Lydekker, an excellent description: 

"This species congregates in large flocks, many pairs in- 
cubating their eggs under the same roof, which is composed of 
cartloads of grass piled on a branch of some camel-thorn tree 
in one enormous mass of an irregular umbrella shape, looking 
like a miniature haystack and almost solid, but with the under 
surface (which is nearly flat) honeycombed all over with little 
cavities, which serve not only as places for incubation, but also 
as a refuge against rain and wind. 

"They are constantly being repaired by their active little 


inhabitants. It is curious that even the initiated eye is con- 
stantly being deceived by these dome-topped structures, since 
at a distance they closely resemble native huts. The nesting- 
chambers themselves are warmly lined with feathers." 

Here must we abruptly end our exhibits of the intelligence of 
a few humble little birds as fairly representative of the wonder- 
ful mental ability and mechanical skill so common in the ranks 
of the birds of the world. It would be quite easy to write a 
volume on The Architectural Skill of Birds! 

Now, let us look for a moment into the house-building in- 
telligence and skill of some of the lower tribes of men. Out of 
the multitude of exhibits available I will limit myself to three, 
widely separated. In the first place, the habitations of the 
savage and barbaric tribes are usually the direct result of their 
own mental and moral deficiencies. The Eskimo is an ex- 
ception, because his home and its location are dictated by the 
hard and fierce circumstances which dictate to him what he 
must do. Often he is compelled to move as his food supply 
moves. The Cliff-Dweller Indian of the arid regions of the 
Southwest was forced to cliff-dwell, in order to stave off ex- 
terminarion by his enemies. Under that spur he became a 
wonderful architect and engineer. 

For present purposes we are concerned with three savage 
tribes which might have been rich and prosperous agriculturists 
or herdsmen had they developed sufficient intelligence to see 
the wisdom of regular industry. 

Consider first the lowest of three primitive tribes that 
inhabit the extreme southern point of Patagonia, whose real 
estate holdings front on the Strait of Magellan. That region 
is treeless, rocky, windswept, cold and inhospitable. I can 
not imagine a place better fitted for an anarchist penal colony. 
North of it lie plains less rigorous, and by degrees less sterile, 
and finally there are lands quite habitable by cattle-and-crop- 
growing men. 

But those three tribes elect to stick to the worst spot in 
South America. 


The most primitive is the tribe of "canoe Indians" of Tierra 
del Fuego, which probably represents the lowest rung of the 
human ladder. Beside them the cave men of 30,000 years ago 
were kings and princes. Their only rivals seem to be the 
Poonans of Central Borneo, who, living in a hot country, make 
no houses or shelters of any kind, and have no clothing but a 
long strip of bark cloth around the loins. 

The Fuegians have long been known to mariners and 
travellers. They inhabit a region that half the year is bleak, 
cold and raw, but they make nothing save the rudest of the 
rude in canoes — of rough slabs tied together and caxLlked with 
moss, — and rough bone-pointed spears, bows, arrows and 
paddles. Their only clothing consists of skins of the guanacos 
loosely hung from the neck, and flapping over the naked and 
repulsive body. They make no houses, and on shore their 
only shelters from the wind and snow and chilling rains are 
rabbit-like forms of brush, broken off by hand. 

These people are lower in the scale of intelligence than any 
wild animal species known to me; for they are mentally too 
dull and low to maintain themselves on a continuing basis. 
Their hundred years of contact with man has taught them 
little; and numerically they are decreasing so rapidly that the 
world will soon see the absolute finish of the tribe. 

In the best of the three tribes, the Tchuelclus, the birth 
rate is so low that within recent times the tribe has diminished 
from about 5,000 to a remnant of about 500. 

Now, have those primitive creatures "immortal souls?" 
Are they entitled to call chimpanzees, elephants, bears and 
dogs "lower animals?" Do they "think," or "reason," any 
more than the animals I have named? 

It is a far cry from the highest to the lowest of the human 
race; and we hold that the highest animals intellectually.are 
higher than the lowest men. 

Now go with me for a moment to the lofty and dense 
tropical forest in the heart of the Territory of Selangor, in the 
Malay Peninsula. That forest is the home of the wild elephant. 


rhinoceros and sladang. And there dwells a jungle tribe called 
the Jackoons, some members of which I met at their family 
home, and observed literally in their own ancestral tree. Their 
house was not wholly bad, but it might have been loo 
per cent better. It was merely a platform of small poles, 
placed like a glorified bird's nest in the spreading forks of a 
many-branched tree, about twenty feet from the ground. The 
main supports were bark-lashed to the large branches of the 
family tree. Over this there was a rude roof of long grass, 
which had a fairly intelligent slope. As a shelter from rain, 
the Jackoon house left much to be desired. The scanty loin 
cloths of the habitants knew no such thing as wash-day or line. 
With aU its drawbacks, however, this habitation was far more 
adequate to the needs of its builders than the cold brush 
rabbit-forms of the Fatagonian canoe Indians. 

We now come to a tribe which has reduced the problem of 
housing and home life to its lowest common denominator. 
The Poonans of Central Borneo, discovered and described by 
Carl Bock, build no houses of any kind, not even huts of green 
branches; and their only overture toward the promotion of 
personal comfort in the home is a five-foot grass mat spread 
upon the sodden earth, to lie upon when at rest. And this, 
in a country where in the so-caUed "dry season" it rains half 
the time, and in the "wet season" all the time. 

The Poonans have rudely-made spears for taking the wild 
pig, deer and smaller game, their clothes consist of bark doth, 
around the loins only. They know no such thing as agriculture, 
and they live off the jungle. 

It was said some years ago that a similarly primitive jungle 
tribe of Ceylon, known as the Veddahs, could count no more 
than five, that they could not comprehend "day after to- 
morrow," and that their vocabulary was limited to about 
200 words. 

It is very probable that the language of the Poonans aud 
the Jackoons is equally limited. 


And what are we to conclude from all the foregoing? Briefly, 
I should say that the architectural skill of the orioles, the 
caciques and the weaver birds is greater than that of the South 
Patagonia native, the Jackoon and the Poonan. I should say 
that those bird homes jaeld to their makers more comfott and 
protection, and a better birth-rate, than are yielded by the 
homes of those ignorant, unambitious and retrogressive tribes 
of men now living and thinking, and supposed to be possessed 
of reasoning powers. If the whole truth could be known, 
I believe it would be found that the stock of ideas possessed 
and used by the groups of highly-endowed birds would fuUy 
equal the ideas of such tribes of simple-minded men as those 
mentioned. If caught young, those savages could be trained 
by civilized men, and taught to perform many tricks, but so 
can chimpanzees and elephants. 

Curiously enough, it is a common thing for even the higher 
types of civilized men to make in home-building just as serious 
mistakes as are made by wild animals and savages. For 
example, among the men of our time it is a conmion mistake 
to build in the wrong place, to build entirely too large or too 
ugly, and to build a Colossal Burden instead of a real Home. 
From many a palace there stands forth the perpetual question: 
"Why 6dd he do it?" 

Any reader who at any time inclines toward an opinion 
that the author is unduly severe on the mentahty of the human 
race, even as it exists today in the United States, is urged to 
read in the Scientific Monthly for January, 1922, an article by 
Professor L. M. Tennan entitled "Adventures in Stupidity. — 
A Partial Analysis of the Intellectual Inferiority of a College 
Student." He should particularly note the percentages on 
page 34 in the second paragraph under the subtitle "The 
Psychology of Stupidity." 



MY first ownership of a live orang-utan began in 1878, in 
the middle of the Simujan River, Borneo, where for four 
Spanish dollars I became the proud possessor of a 
three-year old male. No sooner was the struggling animal 
deposited in the bottom of my own boat than it savagely seized 
the calf of my devoted leg and endeavored to bite therefrom a 
generous cross section. My leggings and my leech stockings 
saved my life. That implacable little beast never gave up; 
and two days later it died, — apparently to spite me. 

My next orang was a complete reverse of No. i. He liked 
not the Dyaks who brought him to me, but in the first moment 
of our acquaintance he adopted me as his foster-father, and 
loved me like a son. Throughout four months of jungle 
vicissitudes he stuck to me. He was a high-class orang, — and 
be it known that many orangs are thin-headed scrubs, who 
never amount to anything. His skull was wide, his face was 
broad, and he had a dome of thought like a statesman. He had 
a fine mind, and I am sure I could have taught him everything 
that any ape could learn. 

During the four months that he lived with me I taught him, 
almost without effort, many things that were necessary in our 
daily life. Even the Dyaks recognized the fact that the "Old 
Man" was an orang (or "mias") of superior mind, and some 
of them traveled far to see him. Unfortunately the exigencies 
of travel and work compelled me to present him to an admiring 
friend in India. Mr. Andrew Carnegie and his then partner, 
Mr. J. W. Vandevorst, convoyed my Old Man and another 
small orang from Singapore to Colombo, Ceylon, whence they 



were shipped on to Madras, received there by my old friend 
A. G. R. Theobald, — and presented at the court of the Duke 
of Buckingham. 

Up to a comparatively recent date, the studies of the 
psychologists that have been devoted to the minds of animals 
below man, have been chiefly concerned with low and common 
types. Comparatively few investigators have found it possible 
to make extensive and prolonged observations of the most 
intelligent wild animals of the world, even in zoological gardens, 
and their observations on wild animals in a state of nature 
seem to have been even more circumscribed. I know only 
three who have studied any of the great apes. 

In attempting to fathom the mental capacity and the mental 
processes of some of the highest mammals, there is the same 
superior degree of interest attaching to the study of wild 
species that the ethnologist finds in the study of savage races 
of men that have been unspoiled by civilization. Obviously, 
it is more interesting to fathom the mind of a creature in an 
absolute state of nature than of one whose ancestors have been 
bred and reared in the trammels of domestication and for 
many successive generations have bowed to the wiU of man. 
The natural fury of the Atlantic walrus, when attacked, is 
much more interesting as a psychologic study than is the 
inbred rage of the bull-dog; and the remarkable defensive 
tactics of the musk-ox far surpass in interest the vagaries of 
range cattle. 

For several reasons, the great apes, and particularly the 
chimpanzees and orang-utans, are the most interesting subjects 
for psychologic study of aU the wild-animal species with 
which the writer is acquainted. Primarily this is due to the 
fact that intellectually and temperamentally, as well as an- 
atomically, these animals stand very near to man himself, and 
closely resemble him. The great apes mentioned can give 
visible expression to a wide range of thoughts and emotions. 

The voice of the adult orang-utan is almost absent, and 


only sufficient to display on rare occasions. What little there 
is of it, in animals over six years of age, is very deep and 
guttural, and may best be described as a deep-bass roar. Under 
excitement the orang can produce a roar by inhalation. 
Young orangs under two years of age often whine, or shriek or 
scream with anger, like excited human children, but with their 
larger growth that vocal power seems to leave them. 

Despite the difference in temperament and quickness in 
delivery, I regard the measure of the orang-utan's mental 
capacity as being equal to that of the chimpanzee; but the 
latter is, and always will remain, the more alert and showy 
animal. The superior feet of the chimpanzee in bipedal work 
is for that species a great advantage, and the longer toes of 
the orang are a handicap. Although the orang's sanguine 
temperament is far more comforting to a trainer than the 
harum-scarum nervous vivacity of the chimpanzee, the value 
of the former is overbalanced, on the stage,^ by the superior 
acting of the chimp. For these reasons the trainers generally 
choose the chimp for stage education. 

The chimpanzee is not only nervous and quick in thought 
and in action, but it is equally so in temper. It will play with 
any good friend to almost any extent, but the moment it sus- 
pects malicious unfairness, or what it regards as a "mean 
trick, " it instantly becomes angry and resentful. Once when 
I attempted to take from our large black-faced chimpanzee, 
called Soko, a small lump of rubber which I feared she 
might swallow, my efforts were kindly but firmly thwarted. 
At last, when I diverted her by small offerings of chocolate, 
and at the right moment sought by a strategic movement to 
snatch the rubber from her, the palpable unfairness of the 
attempt caused the animal instantly to fly into a towering 
passion, and seek to wreak vengeance upon me. Her lips 
Idrew far back in a savage snarl, and she denounced my perfidy 
by piercing cries of rage and indignation. She also did her 


utmost to seize and drag me forcibly within reach of her teeth, 
for the punishment which she felt that I deserved. 

A large male orang-utan named Dohong, under a similar 
test, revealed a very different mental attitude. He dexter- 
ously snatched a valuable watch-charm from a visitor who 
stood inside the railing of his cage, and fled with it to the top 
of his balcony. As quickly as possible I thrust my handker- 
chief between the bars, and waved it vigorously, to attract him. 
At once the animal came down to me, to secure another trophy, 
and before he realized his position I successfully snatched the 
charm from him, and restored it unharmed to its owner. Do- 
hong seemed to regard the episode as a good joke. Without 
manifesting any resentment he turned a somersault on his 
straw, then climbed upon his trapeze and began to perform, as 
if nothing in particular had occurred. 

The orang is distinctly an animal of more serene temper and 
more philosophic mind than the chimpanzee. This has led 
some authors erroneously to pronounce the orang an animal 
of morose and sluggish disposition, and mentally inferior to 
the chimpanzee. After a close personal acquaintance with 
about forty captive orangs of various sizes, I am convinced that 
the facts do not warrant that conclusion. The orang-utans 
of the New York Zoological Park certainly have been as cheerful 
in disposition, as fond of exercise and as fertile in droll per- 
formances as our chimpanzees. Even though the mind of the 
chimpanzee does act more quickly than that of its rival, and 
even though its movements are usually more rapid and more 
precise, the mind of the orang carries that animal precisely as 
far. Moreover, in its native jungles the orang habitually 
builds for itself a very comfortable nest on which to rest and 
sleep, which the chimpanzee ordinarily does not do. 

I think that the exact mental status of an anthropoid ape is 
best revealed by an attempt to train it to do some particular 
thing, in a manner that the trainer elects. Usually about 
five lessons, carefully observed, will afford a good index of the 


pupil's mental capabilities. Some chimpanzees are too nervous 
to be taught, some are too obstinate, and others are too im- 
patient of restraint. Some orang-utans are hopelessly indif- 
ferent to the business in hand, and refuse to become inter- 
ested in it. I think that no orang is too dull to learn to sit at 
a table, and eat with the utensils that are usually considered 
sacred to man's use, but the majority of them care only for 
the food, and take no interest in the function. On the other 
hand, the average chimpanzee is as restless as a newly-caught 
eel, and its mind is dominated by a desire to climb far beyond 
the reach of restraining hands, and to do almost anything save 
that which is particularly desired. 

Among the twenty or more orangs which up to 1922 have 
been exhibited in the Zoological Park, two stand out with special 
prominence, by reason of their unusual mental qualities. They 
differed widely from each other. One was a bom actor and 
imitator, who loved human partnership in his daily affairs. 
The other was an original thinker and reasoner, with a genius 
for invention, and at all times impatient of training and re- 
straint. The first was named Rajah, the latter was called 

Rajah was a male orang, and about four years of age when 
received by us. His high and broad forehead, large eyes and 
general breadth of cranium and jaw marked him at once as 
belonging to the higher caste of orangs. Dealers and experts 
have no difficulty in recognizing at one glance an orang that 
has a good brain and good general physique from those which 
are thin-headed, narrow-jawed, weak in body and unlikely to 
live long. 

At the Zoological Park we have tested out the orang-utan's 
susceptibility to training, and proven that the task is so simple 
and easy that even amateurs can accomplish much in a short 
time. Desiring that several of our orangs should perform in 
public, we instructed the primate keepers to proceed along 
certain lines and educate them to that idea. Naturally, the 
performance was laid out to match our own possibilities. 


In a public park, where only a very little time can be devoted 
to training, we do not linger long over an animal that is either 
stupid or obstinate. Those which cannot be trained easily 
and quickly are promptly set aside as ineligible. 

Without any great amount of labor, and with no real diffi- 
culty, our orangs were trained to perform the following simple 

1. To sit at table, and eat and drink like humans. This 
involved eating sliced bananas with a fork, pouring out milk 
from a teapot into a teacup, drinking out of a teacup, drinking 
out of a beer-bottle, using a toothpick, striking a match, lighting 
a cigarette, smoking and spitting like a man. 

2. To ride a tricycle, or bicycle. 

3. To put on a pair of trousers, adjust the suspenders, put 
on a sweater or coat, and a cap, reversing the whole operation 
after the performance. 

4. To drive nails with a hammer. 

5. Use a key to lock and unlock a padlock. The animal 
most proficient in this became able to select the right Yale 
key out of a bunch of half a dozen or more, with as much quick- 
ness and precision as the average man displays. 

The orang Dohong learned to pedal and to guide a tricycle in 
about three lessons. He caught the two ideas almost instantly, 
and soon brought his muscles under control sufficiently to ride 
successfully, even under difficult conditions. 

It was quickly recognized that our Rajah was a particularly 
good subject, and with him the keepers went farther than with 
the four others. From the first moment, the training operations 
were to him both interesting and agreeable. The animal en- 
joyed the work, and he entered into it so heartily that in two 
weeks he was ready to dine in public, somewhat after the man^ 
ner of human beings. 

A platform eight feet in height was erected in front of 
the Reptile House, and upon it were placed a table, a high chair 
such as small children use, and various dishes. To the platform 
a step-ladder led upward from the ground. Every day at four 


o'clock lusty Rajah was carried to the exhibition space, and set 
free upon the ground. Forthwith the keepers proceeded to 
dress him in trousers, vest, coat and cap. The moment the 
last button had been fastened and the cap placed upon his head, 
he would promptly walk to the ladder, climb up to the platform, 
and in the most business-like way imaginable, seat himself hi 
his chair at the table, all ready to dine. 

He used a napkin, ate his soup with a spoon, speared and 
conveyed his sliced bananas with his fork, poured milk from a 
teapot into his teacup, and drank from his cup with great 
enjojrment and decorum. When he took a drink (of tea) from 
a suspicious-looking black bottle, the audience always laughed. 
When he elevated the empty bottle to one eye and looked far 
into it, they roared; and when he finally took a toothpick and 
gravely placed it in his mouth, his auditors were delighted. 
Several times during the progress of each meal. Rajah would 
pause and benignly gaze down upon the crowd, like a self- 
satisfied judge on his bench. 

Not once did Rajah spoil this exhibition, which was con- 
tinued throughout an entire summer, nor commit any overt act 
of impatience, indifference or meanness. The flighty, nervous 
temper of the chimpanzee was delightfully absent. The most 
remarkable feature of it all was his very evident enjojonent of 
his part of the performance, and his sense of responsibility to 
us and to his audiences. 

Rajah easily and quickly learned to ride a tricycle, and guide 
it himself. But for his untimely death, through a remarkable 
invasion of a microscopic parasite (Balentidium coli) imported 
from the Galapagos Islands by elephant tortoises, his mind 
would have been developed much farther. Since his death, 
in 1902, we have had other orang-utans that were successfully 
taught to dine, but none of them entered into the business with 
the same hearty zest which characterized Rajah, and made his 
performances so interesting. 

We now come to a consideration of simian mental traits of 

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a very different character. Another male orang, named 
Dohong, of the same age and intellectual caste as Rajah, 
developed a faculty for mechanics and invention which not 
only challenged our admiration, but also created much work for 
our carpenters. He discovered, or invented, as you please, 
the lever as a mechanical force, — as fairly and squarely as 
Archimedes discovered the principle of the screw. Moreover, 
he delighted in the use of the new power thus acquired, quite 
as much as the successful inventor usually does. At the same 
time, two very bright chimpanzees of his own age, and with the 
same opportunities, discovered nothing. 

Dohong was ^i a reflective turn of mind, and never was 
entirely willing to learn the things that- his keepers sought 
to teach him. To him, dining at a table was tiresomely dull, 
and the donning of fashionable clothing was a friyolous pastime. 
On the other hand, the interior of his cage, and his gjminastic 
appliances of ropes, trapeze and horizontal bars, all interested 
him greatly. Every square inch of surface, and every piece 
of material in his apartment, was carefully investigated, many 
times over. 

When three years old he discovered his own strength, and 
at first he used it good-naturedly to hector his cage-mate, a 
female chimpanzee smaller than himself. That, however, was 
of trifling interest. The day on which he made the discovery 
that he could break the wooden one and one-half inch horizontal 
bars that were held out from his cage walls on cast iron brackets, 
was for him a great day. Before his discovery was noted by the 
keepers he had joyfuUy destroyed two bars, and with a broken 
piece used as a lever was attacking a third. These bars were 
promptly replaced by larger bars, of harder wood, but screwed 
to the same cast-iron brackets that had carried the first series. 

For a time, the heavier bars endured; but in an evil moment 
the ape swung his trapeze bar, of two-inch oak, far over to 
one side of his cage, and applied the bar as a lever, inside of a 
horizontal bar and from above. The new force was too much 


for the cast-iron brackets, and one by one they gave way. 
Some were broken off, and others were torn from the wall by 
the breaking of the screws that held them. Knowing that all 


By W. A. Cam&deo, in the "Scientific American," 1907 

those brackets must be changed immediately, Dohong was left 
to destroy them; which he did, promptly and joyfully. 

We then made heavy brackets of flat wrought iron bars, 
% by 2yi inches, unbreakable even with a lever. These were 
screwed on with screws so large and heavy that our carpenters 
knew they were quite secure. 

In due time, Dohong tested his lever upon the bars with 
their new brackets, and at first they held securely. Then he 
engaged Polly, his chimpanzee companion, to assist him to the 
limit of her strength. While Dohong pulled on the lever, Polly 
braced her absurd little back against the wall, and pushed upon 
it, with all her strength. At first nothing gave way. The com- 
bined strength exerted by the three brackets was not to be over- 
come by prying at the horizontal bar itself. 


It was then that Dohong's inventive genius rose to its 
climax. He decided to attack the brackets singly, and conquer 
them one by one. On examining the situation very critically, 
he found that each bracket consisted of a right-angled triangle 
of wrought iron, with its perpendicular side against the wall, 
its base uppermost, and its hypotenuse out in the air. Through 
the open centre of the triangle he introduced the end of his 
trapeze bar, chain and all, as far as it would go, then gave a 
mighty heave. The end of his lever was against the wall, and 
the power was applied in such a manner that few machine screws 
could stand so great a strain. One by one, the screws were torn 
out of the wood, and finally each bracket worked upon was torn 

But there was one exception. The screws of one bracket 
were so firmly set in a particularly hard strip of the upright 
tongued-and-grooved yellow pine flooring that formed the wall, 
the board itself was finally torn out, full length! The board 
was four inches wide, seven-eighths of an inch thick, and seven 
feet long. Originally it was so firmly nailed that no one 
believed that it could be torn from its place.* 

Without delay, Dohong started in with his lever to pry off 
the remaining boards of the wall, but this movement was 
promptly checked. Our next task consisted in making long 
bolts by which the brackets of the horizontal bars were bolted 
entirely through the partition walls and held so powerfully on 
the other side that even the lever could not wreck them. 

As soon as the brackets were made secure, Dohong turned 
his attention to the two large sleeping boxes which were built 
very solidly on the balcony of his cage. Both of those struc- 
tures he tore completely to pieces, — always working with the 
utmost good nature and cheerfulness. » Realizing that they 

* In the winter of 1 92 1 about a dozen newspapers in the United States pub- 
lished a sensational syndicated article, occupying an entire page, in which all 
of Dohong's lever discovery and cage- wrecking performances were reported as 
of recent occurrence, and credited to a stupid and uninteresting young orang 
called Gabong, now in the Zoological Park, that has not even the merit of sat- 
ficient intelligence to maintain a proper state of bodily uprightness, let alone 
the invention of mechanical principles. 


could not exist in the cage with him, we gave him a permit to 
tear them out — and save the time of the carpenters. 

Dohong's use of his lever was seen by hundreds of visitors, 
and one frequent visitor to the Park, Mr. L. A. Camacho, an 
engineer, was so much impressed that he published in the 
Scientific American an illustrated account of what he saw. 

For a long period, Dohong had been more or less annoyed 
by the fact that he could not get his head out between the front 
bars of his cage, and look around the partition into the home 
of his next-door neighbor. Very soon after he discovered the 
use of the lever, he swung his trapeze bar out to the upper 
corner of his cage, thrust the end of it out between the first bar 
and the steel column of the partition, and very deftly bent two 
of the iron bars outward far enough so that he could easily thrust 
his head outside and have his coveted look. 

One of our later and largest orangs made a specialty of 
twisting the straw of his bedding into a rope six or seven feet 
long, then throwing it over his trapeze bar and swinging by it, 
forward and back. 

Time and space will not permit the enumeration of the 
various things done by that ape of mechanical mind with his 
swinging rope and his trapeze, with ropes of straw twisted by 
himself, with keys, locks, hammer, nails and boxes. Any 
man who can witness such manifestations as those described 
above, and deny the existence in the animal of an ability to 
reason from cause to effect, must be prepared to deny the evi- 
dence, of his own senses. 

The individual variations between orangs, as also between 
chimpanzees, are great and striking. It may with truth be 
said that no two individuals of either species are really quite 
alike in physiognomy, temperament and mental capacity. 
As subjects for the experimental psychologist, it is difficult to 
see how any other could be found that would be even a good 
second in living interest to the great apes. The facts thus 
far recorded, so I believe, present only a suggestion of the rich 
results that await the patient scientific investigator. 


In the year 1915 Dr. Robert M. Yerkes, of Harvard Uni- 
versity, conducted at Montecito, southern California, in a com- 
fortable primate laboratory, six months of continuous and dili- 
gent experiments on the behavior of orang-utans and monkeys. 
His report, published under the title of "The Mental Life of 
Monkeys and Apes: A Study of Ideational Behavior," is a 
document of much interest and value. Dr. Yerkes' use of the 
orang-utan as a subject was a decided step forward in the study 
of "animal behavior" in America. 



DURING the past twenty years, millions of thinking 
people have been startled, and not a few shocked, by 
the amazing and uncanny hiiman-likeness of the 
performances of trained chimpanzees on the theatrical stage. 
Really, when a well trained "chimp" is dressed from head to 
foot like a man, and is seen going with quickness, precision and 
spirit through a performance half an hour in length, we go 
away from it with an ijincomfortable feeling that speech is all 
that he lacks of being a citizen. 

In 1904 the American public saw Esau. Next came Con- 
sul, — ^in about three or four separate editions! In 1909 we had 
Peter. Then came I know not how many more, including the 
giant Casey and Mr. Garner's Susie; and finally in 1918 our 
own Suzette. The theatre-going public has been well supplied 
with trained chimpanzees, and the mental capacity of that 
species is now more widely known and appreciated than that of 
any other wild animal except the Indian elephant. 

There are several reasons why chimpanzees predominate on 
the stage, and why so few performing orang-utans have been 
seen. They are as follows: 

1. The orang is sanguine, and slower in execution than the 
nervous chimpanzee. 

2. The feet of the orang are not good for shoes, and biped 

3. The orang is rather awkward with its hands, and finally, 

4. There are fully twice as many chimps in the market. 
But the chimpanzee has certain drawbacks of his own. 



His nervous temper and his forced-draught activities soon wear 
him out. If he survives to see his sixth or seventh year, 
it is then that he becomes so strong and so full of ego that 
he becomes dangerous and requires to be retired. 

Bright minds are more common among the chimpanzee 
species than among the orangs. Three chimps out of every 
five are good for training, but not more than two orangs out 
of five can be satisfactorily developed. 

Some sensitive minds shrink from the idea that man has 
"descended" from the apes. I never for a moment shared that 
feeling. I would rather descend from a clean, capable and 
bright-minded genus of apes than from any unclean, ignorant 
and repulsive race of the genus Homo. In comparing the chim- 
panzees of Fernan Vaz with the Canoe Indians of the Strait 
of Magellan and other human tribes we could name, I think the 
former have decidedly the best of it. There are millions of 
members of the human race who are more loathsome and 
repulsive than wild apes. 

The face of the chimpanzee is highly mobile, and the mouth, 
lips, eyes and voice express the various emotions of the indi- 
vidual with a degree of clearness and precision second only to the 
facial expression of man himself. In fact, the face of an intelli- 
gent chimpanzee or orang-utan is a fairly constant index of the 
state of mind of the individual. In their turn, those enormously 
expansive lips and keen brown eyes express contentment, 
doubt, fear and terror; affection, disapproval, jealousy, anger, 
rage; hunger and satiety; lonesomeness and illness. 

The lips of the chimpanzee afiford that animal several per- 
fectly distinct expressions of the individual's mind and feelings. 
While it is not possible to offer a description of each which will 
certainly be recognizable to the reader, the two extremes will 
at least be appreciated. When coaxing for food, or attention, 
the lips are thrust far out beyond the teeth, and formed into a 
funnel with the small end outermost. When the chimpanzee 
flies into a rage at some real or fancied offense, the snarling lips 


are drawn back, and far up and down, until the teeth and gums 
are fully exposed in a ghastly threat of attack. At the same 
time, the voice gives forth shrill shrieks of rage, correctly rep- 
resented by the syllable "Ee-ee-ee!", prolonged, and repeated 
with great force, three or four times. On such occasions as the 
latter, the offending party must look out for himself, or he may 
be roughly handled. 

The voice of the chimpanzee is strong, clear, and in cap- 
tivity it is very much in evidence. Two of its moderate tones 
are almost musical. It is heard when the animal says, coax- 
ingly, "Who'-od! Who'-od!" A dozen times a day, our large 
specimens indulge in spells of loud yelling, purely for their own 
amusement. Their strident cry sounds like "Hoo-hoo-hoo- 
hoo! Wak' -hobl Wah'-hobl Hoo'-hoo! Wah-h-h-h\ 

Wah-h-h-hl" The second combination, "Wah-hoo," consists 
of two sounds, four notes apart. 

It is with their voices that chimpanzees first manifest their 
pleasure at seeing cherished friends of the human species, or 
their anger. Their recognition, and their exuberant joy on 
such occasions, is quite as apparent to every observer as are the 
manifestations of welcome of demonstrative human beings. 

Like all other groups of species, the apes of various genera 
now living vary widely in their mentalities. The chimpanzee 
has the most alert and human-like mind but with less speed the 
orang-utan is a good second. The average captive gorilla, if 
judged by existing standards for ape mentality, is a poor third 
in the anthropoid scale, below the chimp and orang; but since 
the rise of Major Penny's family-pet gorilla, named John, we 
must revise all our former views of that species, and concede 

In studying the mental status of the primates I attach great 
importance to the work and results of the professional trainers 
who educate animals for stage performances. If the trainer 
does not know which are the brightest species of apes, baboons 
and monkeys, then who does? Their own fortunes depend 
upon their estimate of comparative mentality in the primates. 


'Daldy" was an animal of fine intelligence and originality in thought. He was a natural 



Fortunately for our purposes, the minds of the most intelli- 
gent and capable apels, baboons, and monkeys have been 
partially developed and exploited by stage trainers, and to a 
far less extent by keepers in zoological parks. Some wonderful 
results have been achieved, and the best of these have been 
seen by the public in theatres, in traveling shows and in 
zoological parks. All these performances have greatly in- 
terested me, because they go so far as measures of mental 
capacity. I wish to make it dear that I take them very 

While many of the acts of trained animals are due to their 
power of mimicry and are produced by imitation rather than 
by original thought, even their imitative work reveals a 
breadth of intelligence, a range of memory and of activity and 
precision in thought and in energy which no logical mind can 
ignore. To say that a chimpanzee who can swing through 
thirty or forty different acts "does not think" and "does not 
reason," is to deny the evidence of the hiiman senses, and 
fall outside the bounds of human reason. 

Training Apes for Performances. As will appear in its 
own chapter, there is nothing at aU mysterious in the training 
of apes. The subject must be young, and pliant in mind, 
and of cheerful and kind disposition. The poor subjects are 
left for cage life. The trainer must possess intelligence of 
good quality, infinite patience and tireless industry. Further- 
more, the stage properties must be ample. An outfit of this 
kind can train any ape that is mentally and physically a good 
subject. Of course in every animal species, wild or domestic, 
there are individuals so dull and stupid that it is inexpedient 
to try to educate them. 

The chimpanzee Suzette who came to us direct from the 
vaudeville stage performed every summer in her open-air 
"arena cage," until she entered motherhood, which put an 
end to her stage work. She was a brilliant "trick" bicycle 
rider. She could stand upright on a huge wooden ball, and 
by expert balancing and foot-work roll it up a steep incline, 


down a flight of stairs, and land it safely upon the stage, 
without once losing her balance or her control. She was 
entirely at home on roller skates, and when taken out upon 
the pavement of Baird Court she would go wildly careering 
around the large grass plat at high speed. 

All the above acts were acrobatic feats that called for original 
thought and action, and were such as no dull mind and body 
could exert. All the training skill in the world could not take 
a machine and teach it to ride a bicycle through a collection 
of bottles, and an intelligent ape is a million years from being 
a "machine in fur and feathers." 

More than once I have been astounded by the performances 
of apes on the stage. Mr. J. S. Edwards' orang-utan Joe 
was a very capable animal, and his performances were wonder- 
ful. He could use a hammer in driving nails, and a screw- 
driver in inserting and extracting screws, with wonderful 

The most remarkable chimpanzee performance that I ever 
saw was given in a New York theatre in 1909. The star 
actor was a fine male animal about six years old, called Peter. 
I made a complete record of his various acts, and the program 
was as follows 

Performance of Peter, a Chimpanzee 

Stage properties: a suit of clothes, shoes, chair, table, bed, 
bureau, hatrack, candle, cigarette, match, cuspidor, roller 
skates, bottles, flag, inclined plane and steps; plate, napkin, 
cup, spoon, teapot. 

As Peter entered, he bowed to the audience, took off his 
cap and hung it upon a hatrack. He went to the table, seated 
bimseU in the chair, unfolded and put on a napkin, and with 
a string fastened it in place under his chin. With a fork he 
speared some slices of banana and ate them. Into his 
tumbler he poured liquid from a, ^bottle, drank, then corked 
the bottle. 


Next, he poured tea into a cup, put in sugar and cream, took 
tea from the spoon, then drank from the cup. After that he 
took a toothpick and used it elaborately. 

Striking a match he lit a cigarette, and smoked. In 
perfect man-fashion he took the cigarette between his fingers, 
gave his keeper a light, smoked again, and blew puffs of smoke 
first from one corner of his mouth and then the other. Then 
he elaborately spat into the cuspidor. 

Next in order he went to the bureau, cleaned his teeth with 
a tooth-brush, brushed his hair on both sides, looked into the 
mirror and powdered his face. 

Finally he bit a coin and put it on the keeper's plate as 
a tip. 

He pulled off his coat, took off his cuffs and vest, and 
thus half undressed he joyously danced about, beating 
a tambourine. Then he removed his shirt, trousers, shoes, 
garters and socks. Lighting bis candle he walked to his bed, 
blew out the candle and went to bed. 

Very soon he rose, put on his trousers and a pair of roller 
skates and plas^ully pursued a young woman who ran before 
him. His use of the roller skates was excellent. 

The stage was cleared of furniture, and a bicycle was 
brought out. He mounted it and started off, at the first trial, 
and swiftly rode around the stage about fifteen times. While 
riding he took off his cap and waved it. He rode up an in- 
clined plane and down four steps without falling off, re- 
peating for an encore, — ^but here he became peeved about 

Five bottles were set in a figure 8, and he rode between 
them several times. At last he took up a bottle and drank out of 
it. Then he drank out of a tumbler, all while riding. After 
much flag-waving and swift riding, Peter stopped at the center 
of the stage, dismounted, bowed, dapped his hands vigorously 
and retired. 

Peter's performance was remarkable because of the great 


length of it, the absolute skill and precision of it, and the animal's 
easy mastery of every situation. There was a notable absence 
of hesitations and mistakes, and of visible direction. The 
trainer seemed to do nothing save to assist with the stage 
properties, just as an assistant helps any acrobat through the 
property business of his act. If any commands or signs were 
given, the audience was not aware of it. Later on I learned 
that sometimes Peter did not perform with such spirit, and 
required some urging to be prompt. The trainer was kept 
hustling to keep up with his own duties. The animal seemed 
to remember, and I believe he did remember, the sequence 
of a performance of fifty-six separate acts! 

When I witnessed Peter's performance in New York, saw 
the length of it and noted the immense amount of ner- 
vous energy that each performance used up, I made the 
prediction that he could not for one year endure such a strain. 
It was reported to me that he died nine months from that time. 

In October, 1909, when Peter went to Philadelphia, he 
was frequently and closely studied and observed by Dr. 
Lightner Witmer, professor of psychology at the University of 
Permsylvania, and his mentality was tested at the laboratctfy 
of the University. Dr. Witmer's conclusions, as set forth in 
a paper in the December (1909) issue of the Psychological 
Clinic, are of very great interest. He approached Peter's 
first performance in a skeptical frame of mind. I gladly 
waive the opportunity to express my own views regarding 
Peter in order to put upon the stand a more competent witness. 
Hear Dr. Witmer: 

"As I entered the theatre," he says, "my feelings were 
commingled interest and doubt. My doubts were bred from 
knowledge of the difficulty of judging the intelligence of an 
animal from a stage performance. So-called educated horses 
and even educated seals and fleas have made their appeal in 
large number to the credulity of the public. Can any animal 
below man be educated in the proper sense of the word? Or 
is the animal mind susceptible of nothing more than a, mechao- 


ical training, and only given the specious counterfeit of an 
educated intelligence when under the direct control of the 

"Since that day I have seen Peter in five public perform- 
ances, have tested him at my psychological clujjc and privately 
on three occasions. I now believe that in a very real sense 
the animal is himself giving the stage performance. He 
knows what he is doing, he delights in it, he varies it from 
time to time, he understands the succession of tricks which 
are beiog called for, he is guided by word of mouth without 
any signal open or concealed, and the function of his trainer 
is exercised mainly to steady and control. 

"I am prepared to accept the statement of his trainers, 
Mr. and Mrs. McArdle, that Peter's proficiency is not so 
much the result of training as of downright self-education." 

Peter was put through many of the tests which Dr. Witmer 
uses for the study of backward children. He performed many 
of these tests in a very satisfactory manner. He was able 
to string beads the first time he tried it. He put pegs in the 
ordinary kindergarten pegging board. He opened and closed 
a very difficult lock. He used hammer and screw driver, and 
distinguished without any mistake between nails and screws. 
A peculiar kind of hammer was given to him in order to fool 
him, but Peter was not fooled. He felt both ends of the 
hammer and used the flat end instead of the round end. 

Showing his initiative during the tests, Peter got away 
from those who were watching him and darted for a washstand, 
quickly turned the faucet and put his mouth to the spigot and 
secured a drink before he was snatched away by his trainers. 
He understood language and followed instructions without 
signs. He was able to say "mamma," and Doctor Witmer 
taught him in five minutes to give the sound of "p." The 
most remarkable performance was making the letter "w" on 
the blackboard, in which he imitated Doctor Witmer's move- 
ments exactly, and reproduced a fair copy of the letter.. 

The last four paragraphs reproduced above have been 


copied from an article which appeared in the Philadelphia 
Public Ledger on December 17, 1909. 

Dr. Witmer declares that the study of this ape's mind is 
a subject fit, not for the animal psychologist, but for the child 

Suzette's Failure in Maternal Instinct. As a closing 
contribution to our observations on the chimpanzee, I must 
record a tragic failure in maternal instinct, as well as in general 
intelligence, in a chimpanzee. 

In 1919 our two fine eight-year old chimpanzees, Boma 
and Suzette, were happily married. It was a genuine love 
match, and strictly monogamous at that; for while big Fanny 
Chimp in the cage next door to Boma loved Boma and openly 
courted him, he was outrageously indifferent to her, and even 
scorned her. 

After seven months of gestation, a very good baby was bom 
to Suzette, quite naturally and successfully. Boma's shouts of 
excitement and delight carried half a mile throughout the Park. 
Everything looked most auspicious for the rearing of a wonder- 
ful cage-bred and cage-born chimpanzee, the second one ever 
bom in captivity. 

Instead of carrying her infant astride her hip, as do orang 
mothers, and the coolie women of India, Suzette astonished us 
beyond measure by tucking it into her groin, between her 
thigh and her abdomen, head outward. It was a fine place, — 
warm and soft, — but not good when overdone! When Suzette 
walked, as she freely did, she held up the leg responsible for 
the baby, to hold it securely in place, and walked upon the 
other foot and her two hands. About all this there was one 
very bad thing. The baby was perfectly helpless ! As long as 
the mother chose to keep it in her groin prison, it could not 
get free. 

Suzette was completely isolated, kept absolutely quiet, and 
every chance was given her to go on with the functions of 
motherhood. Her breasts contained plenty of milk, and the 


flow was due to start on the second day after the infant's 

Day and night the baby was jealously confined in that 
massive and powerful groin, — and under too much pressure! 
When the baby cried, and kicked, and struggled to get free, 
Suzette would nervously rearrange her straw bed, carefully 
pick from the tiny fingers every straw that they had clutched, 
and settle down again. If the struggle was soon renewed, 
Suzette would change the infant over to the other groin, and 
close upon it as before. 

Sleeping or waking, walking, sitting or lying down, she 
held it there. If we attempted to touch the infant, the mother 
instantly became savage and dangerous. Not one human 
finger was permitted to touch it. For hours, and for days, we 
anxiously watched for nursing to begin; but in vain. At last 
we became almost frantic from the spectacle of the infant 
being slowly starved to death because the mother did not 
realize that it needed her milk, and that she alone could 
promote nursing. Her mother instinct utterly failed to supply 
the link that alone could connect infancy to motherhood, and 
furnish life. 

Of course this failure was due to poor Suzette's artificial 
life, and unnatural surroundings. Had she been all alone, in 
the depths of a tropical forest, Nature would have proceeded 
along her usual lines. But in our Primate House, Suzette felt 
that her infant was surrounded by a host of strange enemies, 
from whom it must be strongly and persistently guarded and 
defended. That was the idea that completely dominated her 
mind, ruled out all human help, and blocked the main process 
of nature. 

During the eight days that the infant lived, it was able to 
reach her breast and nurse only once, for about one minute; 
and then back it went to its prison, where it died from sheer 
lack of nourishment. 

In 1920, that same history was repeated, except that on 


this occasion our Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. W. Reid Blair, 
worked (on the fifth day) for seven hours without intermission 
to stupefy Suzette with chloroform, or other opiates, sufficiently 
to make it possible to remove the baby without a fight with the 
mother and its certain death. Owing to her savage temper all 
the work had to be done between iron bars, to keep from 
losing hands or arms, and the handicap on the human hand 
was too great. Even when Suzette had received chloroform 
for an hour and twenty minutes, and was regarded as half dead, 
at the first touch of a human finger upon her thigh she instantly 
aroused and sprang up, raging and ready for battle. 

The whole effort failed. To rope Suzette and attempt to 
control her by force would have been sheer folly, or worse. 
In such a struggle the infant would have been torn to pieces. 

The second one died as the first one did, and for an awful 
week we were unable to gain possession of the decomposing 
cadaver. Suzette knew that something was wrong, and she 
realized the awful odor, but that idea of defense of her off- 
spring obscured all others. In maintaining her possession of 
that infant, nothing could surpass the cunning of that ape 
mother. Will we ever succeed in outwitting her, and in getting 
one of her babies alive into a baby incubator? Who can say? 



THE true mental status of the gorilla was discovered in 
1919 and 1920, at 15 Sloane Street, London, by Major 
Rupert Penny, of the Royal Air Service, and his young 
relative. Miss Alyse Cunningham. Prior to that time, through 
various combinations of retarding circumstances, no living 
gorilla had ever been placed and kept in an environment calcu- 
lated to develop and display the real mental calibre of the gorilla 
mind. It seems that an exhibition cage, in a zoological park 
or garden thronged with visitors, actually tends to the suppres- 
sion, or even the complete extinguishment, of true gorilla 
character. The atmosphere of the footlights and the stage in 
which the chimpanzee delights and thrives is to the gorilla 
repulsive and unbearable. 

Judging by Major Penny's "John," the gorilla wishes to live 
in a high-class human family, in a modern house, and be treated 
like a human being! It is now definitely recognized by us, and 
also by our colleagues in the London .Zoological Gardens, that 
gorillas can not live long and thrive on public exhibition, before 
great crowds of people, and that it is folly to insist upon trying 
to compel them to do so. The male individual that lived several 
years in the Breslau Zoological Garden and attained the age of 
seven years was a striking exception. 

We have had two gorillas at our Park, one of which, a female 
named Dinah, arrived in good health, and Uved with us eleven 
and one-half months. Her mind was dull and hopelessly 
unresponsive. She learned next to nothing, and she did 
nothing really interesting. Other captive gorillas I have known 



have been equally morose and unresponsive, and lived fewer 
months than Dinah. 

It is because of such animals as Dinah that for fifty years 
the mental status of the gorilla species has been under a cloud. 
Until now it has been much misunderstood and unappreciated. 
Of the few gorillas that have been seen in England and America, 
I think that all save John have been so morose and unrespon- 
sive, and so undeveloped by companionship and training, that 
mentally they have been rated far below the chimpanzee and 

Our own Dinah was no exception to the rule. Personally 
she was a stupid little thing, even when in excellent health. 
Her most pronounced and exasperating stupidities were shown 
in her refusal to eat, or to taste, strange food, even when 
very hungry. Any ape that does not know enough to eat a fine, 
ripe banana, and will only mince away at the inner lining of 
the banana skin, is an unmitigated numskull, and hardly fit 
to live. Dinah was all that, and more. But, alas! We have 
seen a few stupid human children who obstinately refused even 
to taste certain new and unknown kinds of food, because they 
"know" they will not like them ! So Dinah was not alone in her 
childish folly. 

At last a chain of circumstances placed an intellectual and 
sensible gorilla, two years of age, in the hands of a family 
specially fitted by education and home surroundings to develop 
its mind and its manners. The results of those efforts have 
given to the gorilla an entirely new mental status. Thanks to 
the enterprise and diligence of Major Rupert Penny and Miss 
Cunningham in purchasing and caring for a sick and miserable 
young male gorilla, — a most hazardous risk, — a new chapter in 
wild-animal psychology now is to be written. 

In December, 1918, "John Gorilla" was purchased in a 
London department store, out of a daily atmosphere heated to 
85 degrees, and a nightly condition of solitude and terror. 
From that awful state it was taken to live in Major Penny's 


comfortable apartments. John was seriously ill. He was in 
a "rickety" condition, and he weighed only 32 pounds. With 
a pure atmosphere, kept at 65 degrees only, and amid good sur- 
roundings, he soon became well. He attained such robust 
health and buoyant spirits that in March, 192 1, he stood 40K 
inches high and weighed 112 pounds. 

At my solicitation Miss Cunningham wrote out for me the 
very remarkable personal history of that wonderful animal, — 
apparently the most wonderful gorilla ever observed in cap- 
tivity. It is a clear, straightforward and convincing record, 
and not one of its statements is to be for one moment doubted. 
While it is too long to reproduce here in its entirety, I will 
present a condensation of it, in Miss Cunningham's own words 
that wfll record the salient facts, — with no changes save in 

Miss Cunningham says: 

Loneliness. "We soon found it was impossible to leave 
him alone at night, because he shrieked every night, and nearly 
all night, from loneliness and fear. This we found he had done 
in the store where he lived before coming to us. He always 
began to cry directly he saw the assistants putting things away 
for the night. We found that this loneliness at night was trying 
on his health and appetite. As soon as possible my nephew 
had his bed made up every night in the room adjoining the 
cage, with the result that John was quite happy, and began to 
grow and put on fat. 

Treatment. " I fed him, washed his hands, face and feet 
twice a day, and brushed and combed his hair, — which he would 
try to do himself whenever he got hold of the brush or comb. 
He soon got to like all this. 

Training. "My next idea was to teach him to be strictly 
clean in his habits. It was my ambition to be able to have him 
upstairs in our house as an ordinary member of the household. 
I taught him first as a child is taught and handled. This took 
some time. At first I could not make him understand what we 


expected of him, even though I always petted him and gave 
him grapes (of which he was especially fond), but I think at 
first he imagined that this treatment was a punishment. At 
first, without other reasons, he would roll on the floor and 
shriek, but directly he understood what was expected of him he 
soon learned, and began to behave excellently. 

"This training occupied quite six weeks. About February, 
1919, we took him out of his cage, and allowed him the freedom 
of tie house. Thereafter he would run upstairs to the bath- 
room of his own accord, turning the doorknob of whatever 
room he was in, and also opening the door of the bathroom. . . . 
He would get out of bed in the night by himself, go back to bed, 
and pull the blankets over himself quite neatly. 

Food. "John's appetite seemed to tire of foods very 
quickly. The only thing he stuck to was milk, which he liked 
best when warmed. We began by giving him a quart a day, 
rising to three and one-half quarts a day. I found that he 
preferred to choose his own food, so I used to prepare for him 
several kinds, such as bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, raisins, 
currants, dates and any small fruits in season, such as rasp- 
berries or strawberries, ail of which he liked to have warmed! 

"These displays I placed on a high shelf in the kitchen, 
where he could get them with difficulty. I think that he 
thought himself very clever when he stole anything. He never 
would eat anything stale. He was extremely fond of fresh 
lemon jelly, but he never would touch it after the second day. 
He loved roses, to eat, more than anything. The more beautiful 
they were, the more he liked them, but he never would eat 
faded roses. He never cared much for nuts of any other kind 
than baked peanuts, save walnuts. I found that nuts gave him 
dreadful spells of indigestion. 

Use of Tools. "He knew what hammers and chisels were 
for, but for obvious reasons we never encouraged him in any- 
thing to do with carpentry. With cocoanuts he was very 
funny. He knew that they had to be broken, and he would 


try to break them on the floor. When he found he couldn't 
manage that, he would bring the nut to one of us and try to 
make us understand what he wished. If we gave him a ham- 
mer he would try to use it on the nut, and on not being able to 
manage that, he would give back to us both the hammer and 
the cocoanut. 

Games and Play. "We never taught him any tricks; 
he simply acquired knowledge himself. A game he was very 
fond of was to pretend he was blind, shutting his eyes very 
tightly, and running around the room knocking against tables 
and chairs. . . . We found that exercise was the thing he 
required to keep him in health, and my nephew used to give him 
plenty of that by playing hide and seek with him in the morning 
before breakfast, and in the evening before dinner, — ^up and 
down stairs, in and out of all the rooms. He simply loved that 
game, and would giggle and laugh while being chased. . . . 
If he saw that a stranger was at all nervous about him, he loved 
running past him, and giving him a smack on the leg, — and 
you could see him grin as he did so. 

"A thing he greatly enjoyed was to stand on the top rail 
of his bed and jump on the springs, head over heels, just like 
a child. 

Caution. "He was very cautious. He would never run 
into a dark room without first turning on the light. 

Fear. "John seemed to realize danger for other people in 
high places, for if anyone looked out of a high window he always 
pushed them away if he were at the window himself, but if he 
was away from it he would run and pull them back. . . . 
He was very much afraid of fuU-grown sheep, cows and horses, 
but he loved colts, calves and lambs, proA^g to us that he 
recognized youth. 

Woods vs. Fields. "We found he did not like fields or 
open country, but he was very happy in a garden, or in woods. 
... He always liked nibbling twigs, and to eat the green buds 
of trees. 


Table Manners. " His table maimers were really very good. 
He always sat at the table, and whenever a meal was ready, would 
pull his own chair up to his place. He did not care to eat a great 
deal, but he espedaUy liked to drini water out of a tumbler. 
... He was the least greedy of all the animals I have ever 
seen. He never would snatch anything, and always ate very 
slowly. He always drank a lot of water, which he would 
always get himself whenever he wanted it by turning on a tap. 
Strange to say, he always turned off the water when he had 
finished drinking. 

Playing to the Gallery. "John seemed to think that 
everyone was delighted to see him, and he woidd throw up the 
window whenever he was permitted. If he found the sash 
locked he would unfasten it, and when a big crowd had collected 
outside he would clap his chest and his hands.* 

Punishment and Repentance. "We made one very 
great mistake with John. His cage was used as a punishment, 
with the result that we never could leave him there alone, for 
he would shriek all the time. . . . Now, a stick was the one 
thing that our gorilla would not stand from anyone, save Major 
Penny and myself. Presently we found out that the only way 
to deal with him was to tell him that he was very naughty, and 
push him away from us; when he would roll on the floor and 
cry, and be very repentant, holding one's ankles, and putting 
his head on our feet. 

Affection for a Child. "He was especially fond of my 
little niece, three years old. John and she used to play together 
for hours, and he seemed to understand what she wanted him to 
do. If she ever cried, and her mother would not go and pick 
her up, John would always try and nip the mother, or give her 
a smack with the full weight of his hand, evidently thinking she 
was the cause of the child's tears. 

A Sense of Good Order. "He loved to take everything 

*In the summer of 1920 a ^lobe-trotter just arrived from England excitedly reported to me: 
"While driving along a street m London / saw a live gorilla in the upper window of an apart- 
ment. It was a real gorilla; and it clapped its hands at us as we looked 1 Now what did it all 
mean?" Fortunately I was able to explain it. 

Owned by Major Rupert Penny, educated by Miss Alyse Cunningham, London. 1918-1921 


out of a wastepaper basket and strew the contents all over the 
room, after which, when told to do so he would pick up every- 
thing and put it all back, but looking very bored all the while. 
If the basket was very full he would push it all down very 
carefuUy, to make room for more. He would always put things 
back when told to do so, such as books from a bookshelf or 
things from a table. 

Two Cases of Original Thought, (i) "One day we 
were going out, for which I was sitting ready dressed, when 
John wished to sit in my lap. My sister, Mrs. Penny, said: 
'Don't let him. He will spoil your dress.' 

"As my dress happened to be a light one I pushed him away, 
and said, 'No!' He at once lay on the floor and cried just like 
a child, for about a minute. Then he rose, looked round the 
room, found, a newspaper, went and picked it up, spread it on 
my lap and climbed up. This was quite the cleverest thing I 
ever saw him do. Even those who saw it said they would not 
have believed it had they not seen it themselvesl Both my nephews, 
(Major Penny and Mr. E. C. Peimy), his wife and my sister 
(Mrs. Penny) were in the room, and can testify to the correct- 
ness of the above record. 

(2) "Another clever thing John did, although I suspect this 
was due more to instinct that to downright cleverness. A piece 
of filet beefsteak had just come from the butcher. Inasmuch 
as occasionally I gave him a small mouthful of raw beef, a small 
piece of the coarser part of the steak was cut off, and I gave it 
to him. He tasted it, then gravely handed it back to me. 
Then he took my hand and put it on the finer part of the meat. 
From that I cirt off a tiny piece, gave it to him, and he ate it. 
When my nephew came home he wouldn't believe it, so I tried 
it again, with the same result, except that then he did not even 
attempt to eat the coarser meat." 

Concerning Miss Cunningham's wonderful story, I wish to 
State that I believe all of it, — ^because there is no reason to do 


otherwise! It sets a new mark in gorilla lore, and it lifts a 
curtain from an animal mind that previously was unknown, and 
very generally misunderstood. 

To the Doubting Thomases who wiU doubt some portions 
of Miss Cunningham's story, let me cite, by way of caution, the 
following history: 

When Du Chaillu discovered the gorilla, and came to 
America and England with his specimens to tell about it, he 
said that when a big gorilla is attacked and made angry it 
beats its breast, repeatedly, with its clenched fists. The wise- 
acres of that day solemnly shook their heads and said: "Oh, 
no! That can not be true. No ape ever did that. He is 
romancing!" But now we know that this breast-beating and 
chest-clapping habit is to a gorilla a common-place performance, 
even in captivity. 

Sometimes there are more things in heaven and earth than 
are dreamt of in all our philosophy. 



IT was in the jungles of the Animallai Hills of southern 
India that I first became impressed by the mental capacity 

of the Indian elephant. I saw many wild herds. I saw 
elephants at work, and at one period I lived in a timber 
camp, consisting of working elephants and mahouts. I saw a 
shrewd young elephant-driver soundly flogged for stealing an 
elephant, farming it out to a native timber contractor for four 
days, and then elaborately pretending that the animal had been 
"lost." Later on I saw elephant performances in the " Greatest 
Show on Earth" and elsewhere, and for eighteen years I have 
been chief mourner over the idiosyncrasies of Gunda and Alice. 
If I do not now know something about elephants, then my own 
case of animal intelligence is indeed hopeless. 

To me it seems that the only thing necessary to establish 
the elephant as an animal of remarkable intellect and power of 
original reasoning is to set forth the unadorned facts that lie 
ready to hand. 

Cuvier recorded the opinion that in sagacity the elephant in 
no way excels the dog and some other species of carnivora. 
Sir Emerson Tennent, even after some study of the elephant, 
was disposed to award the palm for intelligence to the dog, but 
only "from the higher degree of development consequent on 
his more intimate domestication and association with man." 
In the mind of G. P. Sanderson we fear that familiarity with 
the elephant bred a measure of contempt; and this seems very 
strange. He says: 

"Its reasoning faculties are undoubtedly far below those of 



the dog, and possibly of other animals; and in matters beyond 
its daily experience it evinces no special discernment." 

To me it seems that all three of those opinions are off the 
target. The dog is not a wild, untrammeled am'mal; and neither 
dogs, cats nor savage men evince any special discernment 
"beyond the range of their daily experience." Moreover, there 
are some millions of tame men of whom the same may be said 
with entire safety. 

Very often the question is asked: "Is the African elephant 
equal in intelligence and training capacity to the Indian species?" 

To this we must answer: Not proven. We do not know. 
The African species never has been tried out on the same long 
and wide basis as the Indian. Many individual African 
elephants, very intelligent, have been trained, successfully, and 
have given good accounts of themselves. For my own part 
I am absolutely sure that when taken in hand at the same age, 
and trained on the same basis as the Indian species, the African 
elephant will be found mentally quite the equal of the Indian, 
and just as available for work or performances. 

No negro tribe really likes to handle elephants and train 
them. The Indian native loves elephants, and enjoys training 
them and working with them. It is these two conditions that 
have left the African elephant far behind the procession. The 
African elephant belongs to the great Undeveloped Continent. 
He has been, and he still is, mercilessly pursued and slaughtered 
for his tusks. All the existing species of African elephants are 
going down and out before the ivory hunters. We fear that 
they will all be dead one hundred years from this time, or even 
less. A century hence,'when the last africanus has gone to join 
the mammoth and the mastodon, his well protected wild 
congener in India still will be devouring his four hundred pounds 
of green fodder per day, and the tame ones will be performing 
to amuse the swarming human millions of this overcrowded 

In the minds of our elephant keepers, familiarity with ele- 


phants has bred just the reverse of contempt. Both Thuman 
and Richards are quite sure that elephants are the wisest of all 
wild animals. 

Despite the very great amount of trouble made for Keeper 
Thuman by Gunda, the Indian, and Kartoum, the African, 
Thuman grows enthusiastic over the shrewdness of their 
"cussedness." He is particularly impressed by their skill in 
opening chain shackles, and unfastening the catches and locks 
of doors and gates. And really, Kartoum's ingenuity in finding 
out how to open latches and bolts is almost inexhaustible, as 
well as marvelous. 

Keeper Richards declares that our late African pygmy 
elephant, Congo, was the wisest animal he ever has known. I 
have elsewhere referred to his ability in shutting his outside 
door. Richards taught him to accept coins from visitors, 
deposit them in a box, then pull a cord to ring a bell, one pull for 
each coin represented. The keeper devised four different 
systems of intimate signals by which he could tell Congo to 
stop at the right point, and all these were so slight that no one 
ever detected them. One was by a voice-given cue, another by 
a hand motion, and a third was by an inclination of the body. 

Keeper Richards relates that Congo would go out in his 
yard, collect a trunkful of peanuts from visitors, bring them 
inside and secretly cache them in a corner behind his feed box. 
Then he would go out for more graft peanuts, bring them in, 
hide them and proceed to eat the first lot. There are millions 
of men who do not know what it is to conserve something that 
can be eaten. 

In this discussion of the intellectual powers and moral 
qualities of the elephant I will confine myself to my own obser- 
vations on Elephas indicus, except where otherwise stated. 
A point to which we ask special attention is that in endeavoring 
to estimate the mental capacity of the elephant, we will base 
no general conclusions upon any particularly intelligent indi- 
vidual, as all mankind is tempted to do in discussions of the 


intelligence of the dog, the cat, the horse, parrot and ape. On 
the contrary, it is our desire to reveal the mental capacity of 
every elephant living, tame or wild, except the few individuals 
with abnormal or diseased minds. It is not to be shown how 
successfully an elephant has been taught by man, but how all 
elephants in captivity have been taught, and the mental capac- 
ity of every elephant. 

Under the head of intellectual qualities we have first to 
consider the elephant's 

PowEBS OF Independent Observations, and Reasoning 
FROM Cause to Effect 

While many wonderful stories are related of the elephant's 
sagacity and independent powers of reasoning, it must be 
admitted that a greater number of more wonderful anecdotes 
are told on equally good authority of dogs. But the circum- 
stances in the case are wholly to the advantage of the universal 
dog, and against the rarely seen elephant. While the former 
roams at will through his. master's premises, through town 
and country, mingling freely with all kinds of men and domestic 
animals, with unlimited time to lay plans and execute them, 
the elephant in captivity is chained to a stake, with no liberty 
of action whatever aside from begging with his trunk, eating and 
drinking. His only amusement is in swaying his body, swing- 
ing one foot, switching his tail, and (in a zoological park) looking 
for something that he can open or destroy. Such a ponderous 
beast cannot be allowed to roam at large among human beings, 
and the working elephant never leaves his stake and chain 
except under the guidance of his mahout. There is no means 
of estimating the wonderful powers of reasoning that captive 
elephants might develop if they could only enjoy the freedom 
accorded to all dogs except the blood-hound, bull-dog and a 
few others. 

In the jungles of India the writer frequently has seen wild 
elephants reconnoitre dangerous ground by means of a scout or 


spy; communicate intelligence by signs; retreat in orderly 
silence from a lurking danger, and systematically march, in 
single file, like the jungle tribes of men. 

Once having approached to within fifty yards of the strag- 
glers of a herd of about thirty wild elephants, which was scat- 
tered over about four acres of very open forest and quietly 
feeding, two individuals of the herd on the side nearest us sud- 
denly suspected danger. One of them elevated his trunk, with 
the tip bent forward, and smelled the air from various points 
of the compass. A moment later an old elephant left the herd 
and started straight for our ambush, scenting the air with 
upraised tnmk as he slowly and noiselessly advanced. We 
instantly retreated, unobserved and unheard. The elephant 
advanced until he reached the identical spot where we had a 
moment before been concealed. He paused, and stood motion- 
less as a statue for about two minutes, then wheeled about and 
quickly but noiselessly rejoined the herd. In less than half a 
minute the whole herd was in motion, heading directly away 
from us, and moving very rapidly, but without the slightest 
noise. The huge animals simply vanished like shadows into 
the leafy depths of the forest. Before proceeding a quarter of 
a mile, the entire herd formed in single file and continued strictly 
in that order for several nailes. Like the human dwellers in the 
jungle, the elephants know that the easiest and most expeditious 
way for a large body of animals to traverse a tangled forest is for 
the leader to pick the way, while all the others follow in his foot- 

In strong contrast with the stealthy and noiseless manner in 
which elephants steal away from a lurking danger, or an ambush 
discovered, from an open attack accompanied with the noise of 
fire-arms they rush away at headlong speed, quite regardless of 
the noise they make. On one occasion a herd which I was 
designing to attack, and had approached to within forty yards, 
as its members were feeding in some thick bushes, discovered my 
presence and retreated so silently that they had been gone five 


minutes before I discovered what their sudden quietude really 
meant. In this instance, as in several others, the still alarm 
was communicated by silent signals, or sign-language. 

At the Zoological Park we reared an African pygmy elephant 
{Elephas pumilio). When his slender little tusks grew to 
eighteen inches in length he made some interesting uses of them. 
Once when the keepers wished to lead him upon our large plat- 
form scales, the trembling of the platform frightened him. He 
conceived the idea that it was unsafe, aid therefore that he 
must keep off. He backed away, halted, and refused to leaije 
solid ground. The men pushed him. He backed, and trumpjp 
eted a shrill protest. The men pushed harder, and forced him 
forward. Trumpeting his wild alarm and his protest against 
what he regarded as murder, he^ell upon his knees and dro'^ 
his tusks into the earth, quite up to Ij^s mouth, to anchor hfm- 
self firmly to the solid ground. If was pathetic, but also 
amusing. When Congo finally was pushed upon the scales and 
weighed, he left the trembling instrument of torture with an air 
of disgust and disapproval that was quite as eloquent as words. 
On several occasions when taken out for exercise in the park, 
he endeavored to hinder the return to quarters by anchoring 
himself to Mother Earth. 

Congo once startled us by his knowledge of the usefulness of 
doors. For a time he was kept in a compartment that had an 
outside door running sidewise on a trolley track, and controlled 
by two hanging chains, one to close it and one to open it. Each 
chain had on its end a stout iron ring for a handle. One chilly 
morning when I went to see Congo, I asked his keeper to open 
his door, so that he could go out. 

The keeper d^d so, by pulling the right hand chain. The 
moment the draft of chilly outer air struck Congo, who stood 
in, the centre ofrhis stall facing me, he impatiently wheeled 
about, walked up to the left hand chain, grabbed it with his 
t^nk, slipped the ring over one of his tusks, then inclined his 
Bead downward and with an irritfj:ed tug pulled the door shut 
with a spiteful slam. 


"Open it again," I said to the keeper. 

He did so, and in the same way, but with a visible increase 
in irritation, Congo closed it in the same manner as before. 
Again the keeper opened the door, and this time, with a real 
exhibition of temper Congo again thrust the ring over his tusk, 
and brought the door shut with a resounding bang. It was his 
regular habit to close that door, or to open it, when he felt like 
more air or less air; and who is there who wiU say that the act 
was due to "instinct" in a jungle-bred animal, or anything else 
than original thought. The ring on his tusk was his own inven- 
tion, as a means to a desired end. 

Every elephant that we ever have had has become, through 
his own initiative and experimenting, an expert in unfastening 
the latches of doors and gates, and in untying chains and ropes. 
Gunda always knew enough to attack the padlocks on his leg 
chains, and break them if possible. No ordinary clevis would 
hold him. When the pin was threaded at one end and screwed 
into its place, Gunda would work at it, hour by hour, until he 
would start it to unscrewing, and then his trunk-tip would do 
the rest. The only clevis that he could not open was one in 
which a stout cotter pin was passed through the end of the 
clevis-pin and strongly bent. 

Through reasons emanating in his own savage brain, Gunda 
took strong dislikes to several of our park people. He hated 
Dick Richards, — the keeper of Alice. He hated a certain mes- 
senger boy, a certain laborer, a painter and Mr. Ditmars. 
Toward me he was tolerant, and never rushed at me to kill me, 
as he always did to his pet aversions. He stood in open fear 
_of his own keeper, Walter Thuman, until he had studied out a 
p^n to catch him off his guard and "get him." Then he 
launched his long-contemplated attack, and Thuman was 
almost killed. 

Our present (192 1) male African elephant, Kartoum, is not 
so hostile toward people, but his insatiable desire is to break and 
to smash all of his environme^ that can be bent or broken. His 


or to break steel beams, is amazing. His greatest feat con- 
sisted in breaking squarely in two, by pushing with his head, a 
90-pound steel railroad iron used as the top bar of his fence. 
He knows the mechanism of the latch of the ponderous steel 
door between his two box stalls, and nothing but a small pin 
that only human fingers can manipulate suffices to thwart his 
efforts to control the latch. 

Kartoum has gone over every inch of surface of his two 
apartments, his doors, gates and fences, to find something that 
he can break or damage. The steel linings of his apartment 
walls, originally five feet high, we have been compelled to 
extend upward to a height of nine feet, to save the brick walls 
from being battered and disfigured. He has searched his steel 
fences throughout, in order to find their weakest points, and 
concentrate his attacks upon them. If the sharp-pointed iron 
spikes three inches long that are set all over his doors are per- 
fectly solid, he respects them, but if one is the least bit loose in 
its socket, he works at it until he finally breaks it off. 

I invite any Doubting Thomas who thinks that Kartoum" 
does not "think" and "reason" to try his own thinking and 
reasoning at inventing for Kartoum's door a latch that a keeper^ 
can easily and surely open and close at a distance of ten feet, ' 
and that will be Kartoum-proof . As for ourselves, three or four 
seemingly intelligent officers and keepers, and a capable foreman 
of construction, have all they can do to keep ahead of that one 
elephant, so great is his ingenuity in thwarting our ways and 
means to restrain him. * 

In about two days of effort our elephant keepers taught 
Gunda to receive a coin from the hand of a visitor, or pick it ' 
off the floor, lift the lid of a high-placed cash-box, drop the coin 
into it and ring a bell. This very amusing industry was kept up 
for several years, but finally it became so popular that it had 
to be discontinued. 

Keeper Dick Richards easily taught Mice to blow a mouth 
organ, and to ring a telephone, to take the receiver off its hook 
and hold it to her ear and listen. For years Alice has rendered, 


every summer, valuable services of a serious nature in carrying 
children and other visitors around her yard, and only once or 
tvnce has she shown a contrary or obstinate spirit. 

Tame elephants never tread on the feet of their attendants, 
or knock them down by accident; or, at least, no instances of 
the kind have come to my knowledge. The elephant's feet 
are large, his range of vision is circumscribed, and his extreme 
and wholly voluntary solicitude for the safety of his human 
attendants can not be due to anything else than independent 
reasoning. The most intelligent dog is apt to greet his master 
by planting a pair of dirty paws against his coat or trousers. 
The most sensible carriage-horse is liable to step on his master's 
foot or crowd him against a wall in a moment of excitement; but 
even inside the keddah, with wild elephants aU about, and a 
captive elephant hemmed in by three or four tame animals, the 
noosers safely work under the bodies and between the feet of 
the tame elephant until the feet of the captive are tied. 

All who have witnessed the tying of captives in a keddah 
wherein a whole wild herd has been entrapped, testify to the 
uncanny human-like quality of the intelligence displayed by 
the tame elephants who assist in tying, leading out and sub- 
jugating the wild captives. They enter into the business with 
both spirit and understanding, and as occasion requires will 
deceitfully cajole or vigorously punish a troublesome captive. 
Sir Emerson Tennent asserts that the tame elephants display 
the most perfect conception of every movement, both of the 
object to be attained and the means to accomplish it. 

Memory in the Elephant. So far as memory may 
be regarded as an index of an animal's mental capacity, the 
weight of evidence is most convincingly creditable to the 
elephant. As a test of memory in an animal, we hold that a 
trained performance surpasses all others. During the past 
forty years millions of people have witnessed in either Bamum's 
or Ringling Brothers' shows, or in the two combined, an imita- 
tion military drill performed by from twelve to twenty elephants 


which in animals of any other species would be considered a 
remarkable performance. The following were the commands 
given by one trainer, understood and remembered by each ele- 
phant, and executed without any visible hesitation or mistake. 
These we wiU call the 

Accomplishments of Performing Elephants. 

1. Fall in line. 

2. RoU-call. (As each elephant's name is called, he takes 
his place in the ranks). 

3. Present arms. (The trunk is uplifted, with its tip curved 
forward and held in that position for a short time.) 

4. Forward, march. 

5. File left, march. 

6. Right about face, march. 

7. Left about face, march. 

8. Right by twos, march. 

9. Double quick, march. 

10. Single file, march. 

11. File right. 

12. Halt. 

13. Ground arms. (All lie down, and lie motionless.) 

14. Attention (All arise.) 

15. Shoulder arms. (All stand up on their hind-legs.) 

In all, fifteen commands were obeyed by the whole company 
of elephants. 

It being impossible, or at least impracticable, to supply so 
large a number of animals with furniture and stage properties 
for a further universal perfomance, certain individuals were 
supplied with the proper articles when necessary for a continua- 
tion of the performance, as follows: 

16. Ringing bells. 

17. Climbing up a step-ladder. 

18. Going lame in a fore leg. 

19. Going lame in a hind leg. 

20. Stepping up on a tub turned bottom up. 


21. Standing on a tub on right legs only. 

22. The same, on opposite legs. 

23. The same, on the fore legs only. 

24. The same, on the hind legs only. 

25. Using a fan. 

26. Turning a hand-organ. 

27. Using a handkerchief to wipe the eyes. 

28. Sitting in a chair. 

29. Kneeling, with the fore legs. 

30. Kneeling with the hind legs. 

31. Walking astride a man Isong lengthwise. 

32. Stepping over a man lying down. 

33. Forming a pyramid of elephants, by using tubs of 
various sizes. 

While it is true that not all of the acts in the latter part of 
this performance were performed by each one of the elephants 
who went through the military drill, there is no reason to doubt 
the entire ability of each individual to be trained to obey the 
whole thirty-three commands, and to remember them all 
accurately and without confusion. The most astonishing 
feature of the performance, aside from the perfect obedience 
of the huge beasts, was their easy confidence and accuracy of 

We come now to a consideration of the 

Accomplishments of Working Elephants. In all the 
timber-forests of southern India every captive elephant is 
taught to perform all the following acts and services, as I have 
witnessed on many occasions: 

1. To saiaam, or salute, by raising the trunk. 

2. To kneel, to receive a load or a passenger. 

3. When standing, to hold up a fore-foot, to serve the driver 
as a step in climbing to his place. 

4. To lie down to be washed, first on one side and then on 
the other. 

5. To open the mouth. 


6. To "hand up" any article from the ground to the reach 
of a person riding. 

7. To pull down an obstructing bough. 

8. To halt. 

9. To back. 

10. To pick up the end of a drag-rope and place it between 
the teeth. 

11. To drag a timber. 

12. To kneel and with the head turn a log over, or turn 
it with the tusks if any are present. 

13. To push a log into position parallel with others. 

14. To balance and carry timbers on the tusks, if possessing 
tusks of sufficient size. 

15. To "speak," or trumpet. 

16. To work in harness. 

Every working elephant in India is supposed to possess 
the intelligence necessary to the performance of all the acts enum- 
erated above at the command of his driver, either by spoken 
words, a pressure of the knees or feet, or a touch with the driving 
goad. For the sake of generalization I have purposely excluded 
from this list all tricks and accomplishments which are not 
universally taught to working elephants. We have seen, how- 
ever, that performing elephants are capable of executing nearly 
double the number of acts commonly taught to the workers; 
and, while it is useless to speculate upon the subject, it must be 
admitted that, were a trainer to test an elephant's memory by 
ascertaining the exact number of commands it could remember 
and execute in rotation, the result would far exceed anything 
yet obtained. For my own part, I believe it would exceed a 
hundred. The performance in the circus-ring is limited by time 
and space, and not by the mental capacity of the elephants. 

Comprehension under Training. When we come to 
consider the comparative mental receptivity and comprehension 
of animals under man's tuition, we find the elephant absolutely 


On account of the fact that an elephant is about eighteen 
years in coming to anything like maturity, according to the 
Indian Government standard for working animals, it is far 
more economical and expeditious to catch full-grown elephants 
in their native jungles, and train them, than it is to breed and 
rear them. About ninety per cent of all the elephants now 
living in captivity were caught in a wild state and tamed, and 
of the remainder at least eighty per cent were born in captivity 
of females that were gravid when captured. It wiU be seen, 
therefore, that the elephant has derived no advantage whatever 
from ancestral association with man, and has gained nothing 
from the careful selection and breeding which, all combined, 
have made the coUie dog, the pointer and the setter the won- 
derfully intelligent animals they are. For many generations 
the horse has been bred for strength, for speed, or for beauty of 
form, but the breeding of the dog has been based chiefly on his 
intelligence as a means to an end. With all his advantages, 
it is to be doubted whether the comprehensive faculties of the dog, 
even in the most exceptional individuals of a whole race, are equal 
to those of the adult wild elephant fresh from the jungle. 

The extreme difficulty of teaching a dog of mature age even 
the simplest thing is so well known that it has passed into a 
proverb: "It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks." In 
other words, the conditions must be favorable. But what is 
the case with the elephant? The question shall be answered 
by G. P. Sanderson. In his "Wild Beasts of India," he says: 
"Nor are there any elephants which can not be easily subjugated, 
whatever their size or age. The largest and oldest elephants are 
frequently the most easily tam^d, as they are less apprehensive 
than the younger ones." 

Philosophy of the Elephant in Accepting Captivity 
and Making the Best of It. The most astounding feature 
in the education of an elephant is the suddenness of his transi- 
tion from a wild and lawless denizen of the forest to the quiet, 
plodding, good-tempered, and cheerful beast of draught or 


burden. I call it astounding, because in comparison with what 
could not be done with other wild animals caught when adult, 
no other word is adequate to express the difference. The 
average wild animal caught fully grown is "a terror," and so 
far as training is concerned, perfectly impossible. 

There takes place in the keddah, or pen of capture, a mighty 
struggle between the giant strength of the captive and the in- 
genuity of man, ably seconded by a few powerful tame ele- 
phants. When he finds his strength utterly overcome by 
man's intelligence, he yields to the inevitable, and accepts the 
situation philosophically. Sanderson once had a narrow escape 
from death while on the back of a tame elephant inside a keddah, 
attempting to secure a wild female. She fought his elephant 
long and viciously, with the strength and courage of despair, 
but finally she was overcome by superior numbers. Although 
her attack on Sanderson in the keddah was of the most mur- 
derous description, he states that her conduct after her defeat 
was most exemplary, and she never afterward showed any signs 
of ill-temper. 

Mr. Sanderson and an elephant-driver once mounted a 
full-grown female elephant on the sixth day after her capture, 
without even the presence of a tame animal. Sir Emerson Ten- 
nent records an instance wherein an elephant fed from the hand 
on the first night of its capture, and in a very few days evinced 
pleasure at being patted on the head. Such instances as the 
above can be multiplied indefinitely. To what else shall they 
be attributed than philosophic reasoning on the part of the 
elephant? The orang-utan and the chimpanzee, so often put 
forward as his intellectual superior, when captured alive at 
any other period than that of helpless infancy, are vicious, ag- 
gressive, and intractable not only for weeks and months, but for 
the remainder of their lives. Orangs captured when fully adult 
exhibit the most tiger-like ferocity, and are wholly intractable. 

If dogs are naturally superior to elephants in natural intel- 
lect, it should be as easy to tame and educate newly-caught wild 


dogs or wolves of mature age, as newly-caught elephants. 
But, so far from this being the case, it is safe to assert that it 
would be impossible to train even the most intelligent company 
of pointers, setters or collies ever got together to perform the 
feats accomplished with such promptness and accuracy by all 
regularly trained work elephants. 

The successful training of all elephants up to the required 
working point is so fully conceded in India that the market value 
of an animal depends whoUy upon its age, sex, build and the 
presence or absence of good tusks. The animal's education is 
either sufficient for the buyer, or, if it is not, he knows it can 
be made so. 

Promptness and Accuracy In the Execution of. Man's 
Orders. This is the fourth quality which serves as a key to 
the mental capacity and mental processes of an animal. 

To me the most impressive feature of a performance of 
elephants in the circus-ring is the fact that every command 
uttered is obeyed with true military promptness and freedom 
from hesitation, and so accurately that an entire performance 
often is conducted and concluded without the repetition of a 
single command. One by one the orders are executed with the 
most human-like precision and steadiness, amounting sometimes 
to actual nonchalance. Human beings of the highest type 
scarcely could do better. To some savage races — for example, 
the native Australians, the Veddahs of Ceylon, or thejackoons 
of the Malay Peninsula, I believe that such a performance 
would be impossible, even imder training. I do not believe 
their minds act with sufficient rapidity and accuracy to enable 
a company of them to go through with such a wholly arti- 
ficial performance as successfully as the elephants do. 

The thoughtful observer does not need to be told that the 
brain of the ponderous quadruped acts, as far. as it goes, with 
the same rapidity and precision as that of an intelligent man, — 
and this, too, in a performance that is wholly artificial and ac- 


In the performance o£ Bartholomew's hoKes, of which I once 
kept a record in detail, even the most accomplished members 
of his troupe often had to be commanded again and again before 
they would obey. A command often was repeated for the 
fifth or sixth time before the desired result was obtained. I 
noted particularly that not one of his horses, — which were the 
most perfectly trained of any ever seen by me, — was an excep- 
tion to this rule, or performed his tasks with the prompt obedi- 
ence and self-confidence so noticeable in each one of the sixteen 
Bamum elephants. The horses usually obeyed with tardiness 
and hesitation, and very often manifested nervousness and 

In the mind of the elephant, e. g., each elephant, there was 
no confusion of ideas or lapses of memory, but, on the con- 
trary, the mental grasp on the whole subject was so secure and 
comprehensive that the animal felt himself the master of the 

I have never yet seen a performance of trained dogs which 
could be considered worthy of serious comparison with the ac- 
complishments of either performing or working elephants. 
In the matter of native educational capacity the dog can not 
on any grounds be considered the rival of the elephant. The 
alleged mental superiority of the dog is based almost wholly 
upon his powers of independent reasoning and observation as 
exhibited in a state of almost perfect freedom. Until the ele- 
phant who has grown to maturity under man's influence, is 
allowed the dog's freedom to plan and execute, no conclusive 
comparison between them can be made. 

Moral Qualities of the Elephant. Finally, we come 
to a consideration of the elephant's moral qualities that have a 
direct bearing upon our subject. In India, excepting the pro- 
fessional "rogue," the elephant bears a spotless reputation for 
patience, amiability and obedience. The "rogue" is an indi- 
vidual afiBicted with either an incorrigible disposition, or else 
is afiBicted with insanity, either temporary or permanent. I 


know of no instance on record wherein a normal elephant with a 
healthy mind has been guilty of unprovoked homicide, or even of 
attempting it. I have never heard of an elephant in India so 
much as kicking, str ikin g or otherwise injuring either human 
beings or other domestic animals. There have been several 
instances, however, of persons killed by elephants which were 
temporarily insane, or "must," and also by others permanently 
insane. In America several persons have been kiUed in re- 
venge for ill treatment. In Brookl3m a female elephant once 
killed a civilian who burned her trunk with a lighted cigar. 
It is the misfortune but not the fault of the elephant that in 
advanced age or by want of necessary exercise, he is liable 
to be attacked by must, or sexual insanity, during which period 
he is clearly irresponsible for his acts. 

So many men have been kiUed by elephants in this country 
that of late years the idea has been steadily gaining ground 
that elephants are naturally iU-tempered, and vicious to a dan- 
gerous extent. Under fair conditions, nothing could be farther 
from the truth. We have seen that in the hands of the "gentle 
Hindu" the elephant is safe and reliable, and never attacks 
man except under the circumstances already stated. In this 
country, however, many an elephant is at the mercy of quick- 
tempered and sometimes revengeful showmen, who very often 
do not understand the temperaments of the animals under 
their control, and who during the traveling season are rendered 
perpetually ill-tempered and vindictive by reason of overwork 
and insufficient sleep. With such masters as these it is no 
wonder that occasionally an animal rebels, and executes ven- 
geance. In Minneapolis in December an elephant once went 
on a rampage through the freezing of its ears. I am quite con- 
vinced that an elephant could by illtreatment be driven to 
insanity, and I have no doubt that this has been done many 
times. Our bad elephant, Gunda, was bad by nature, but 
finally he became afflicted with sexual insanity, for which there 
was no cure. 


When commanded by man, the elephant will tear a criminal 
limb from limb, or crush him to death with his knees, or go out 
to battle holding a sword in his trunk. He will, when told 
to do so, attack his kind with fury and persistence; but in the 
course of many hours, and even days, spent in watching wild 
herds, I never yet saw a single individual show any signs of 
impatience or ill-temper toward his fellows. 

It is safe to say that, thus far, not one half the elephant's 
mental capabilities have been developed, or even understood. 
It would be of great interest to determine by experiment the 
full educational capacity of this interesting quadruped. It 
would be equally interesting to determine the limit of its reason- 
ing powers in appUed mechanics. An animal that can turn a 
hand-organ at the proper speed, or ring a telephone and go 
through the motions of listening with a receiver, can be taught 
to push a smoothing-plane invented purposely for him; but 
whether he would learn of himself to plane the rough surface 
smooth, and let the smooth ones remain untouched, is an open 

While it is generally fruitless and unsatisfactory to enter 
the field of speculation, I can not resist the temptation to assert 
my belief that an elephant can be taught to read written char- 
acters, and also to express some of his own thoughts or states of 
feeling in writing. It would be a perfectly simple matter to 
prepare suitable appliances by which the sagacious animal could 
hold a crayon in his trunk, and mark upon a surface adapted 
to his convenience. Many an elephant has been taught to make 
i-halk-marks on a blackboard. In Elian's work on "The 
Nature of Animals," the eleventh chapter of the second book, 
he describes in detail the wonderful performances of elephants 
at Rome, all of which he saw. One passage is of peculiar 
interest to us, and the following has been given as a translation: 
" . . .1 saw them writing letters on Roman tablets with their 
trunks, neither looking awry nor turning aside. The hand, 
however, of the teacher was placed so as to be a guide in the 


formation of the letters; and, whUe it was writing, the animal 
kept its eye fixed down in an accomplished and scholar-like 

I can conceive how an elephant may be taught that certain 
characters represent certain ideas, and that they are capable of 
intelligent combinations. The system and judgment and 
patient effort which developed an active, educated, and even 
refined intellect in Laura Bridgman — deaf, dumb and blind 
from birth — ought certainly to be able to teach a clear-headed, 
intelligent elephant to express at least some of his thoughts in 

I believe it is as much an act of murder to wantonly take 
the life of a healthy elephant as to kill a native Australian or a 
Central-African savage. If it is more culpable to kill an 
ignorant human savage than an elephant, it is also more culpa- 
ble to kill an elephant than an echinoderm. Many men are 
both morally and intellectually lower than many quadrupeds, 
and are, in my opinion, as wholly destitute of that indefinable 
attribute called soul as all the lower animals commonly are 
supposed to be. 

If an investigator like Dr. Yerkes, and an educator like Dr. 
Howe, should take it in hand to develop the mind of the ele- 
phant to the highest possible extent, their results would be 
awaited with peculiar interest, and it would be strange if they 
did not necessitate a revision of the theories now common 
among those who concede an immortal soul to every member 
of the human race, even down to the lowest, but deny it to all 
the animals below man. 

Curvature in the Brain of an Elephant. There is 
curvature of the spine; and there is curvature in the brain. It 
aflaicts the human race, and all other vertebrates are subject 
to it. 

In the Zoological Park we have had, and still have, a per- 
sistent case of it in a female Indian elephant now twenty-three 
years of age, named "Alice." Her mental ailment several 


times manifested itself in Luna Park, her former home; but 
when we purchased the animal her former owners carelessly 
forgot to mention it. 

Four days after Alice reached her new temporary home in 
our Antelope House, and while being marched around the Park 
for exercise, she heard the strident cry of one of our mountain 
Hons, and immediately turned and bolted. 

Young as she was at that time, her two strong and able- 
bodied keepers, Thuman and Bayreuther, were utterly unable 
to restrain her. She surged straight forward for the front door 
of the Reptile House, and into that building she went, with the 
two keepers literally swinging from her ears. 

As the great beast suddenly loomed up above the crowd of 
sightseers in the quiet building, the crowd screamed and became 
almost panic-stricken. 

Partly by her own volition and partly by encouragement, 
she circumnavigated the turtle-bank and went out. 

Once outside she went where she pleased, and the keepers 
were quite unable to control her. Half an hour later she again 
headed for the Reptile House and we knew that she would 
again try to enter. 

In view of the great array of plate glass cases in that build- 
ing, many of them containing venomous cobras, rattlesnakes, 
moccasins and bushmasters, we were thoroughly frightened at 
the prospect of that crazy beast again coming within reach of 

With our men fighting frantically, and exhausted by their 
prolonged efforts to control her, Alice again entered the Reptile 
House. As she attempted to pass into the main hall, — the 
danger zone, — our men succeeded in chaining her front feet 
to the two steel posts of the guard rail, set solidly in concrete 
on each side of the doorway. Alice tried to pull up those 
posts by their roots, but they held; and there in front of the 
Crocodile Pool the keepers and I camped for the night. We fed 
her hay and bread, to keep her partially occupied, and wondered 


what she would do in the morning when we would attempt to 
remove her. 

Soon after dawn d force of keepers arrived. Chaining the 
elephant's front feet together so that she could not step more 
than a foot, we loosed the chains from the two posts and ordered 
her to come to an "about face," and go out. Instead of doing 
that she determinedly advanced toward the right, and came 
within reach of twelve handsome glazed cases of live reptiles 
that stood on a long table. Frantically the men tried to drive 
her back. For answer she put her two front feet on the top 
bar of the steel guard rail and smashed ten feet of it to the floor. 
Then she began to butt those glass snake cages off their table, 
one by one. 

"Booml" "Bang!" "Crashl" they went on the floor, one 
after another. Soon fourteen banded rattlesnakes of junior 
size were wriggling over the floor. "Smash" went more cases. 
The Reptile House was in a great uproar. Soon the big wall 
cases would be reached, and then — I would be obliged to shoot 
her dead, to avoid a general delivery of poisonous serpents, and 
big pythons from twenty to twenty-two feet long. The room 
resounded with our shouts, and the angry trumpeting of Alice. 

At last, by vigorous work with the elephant hooks, Alice 
was turned and headed out of the building. A foot at a time 
she passed out, then headed toward the bear dens. Midway, 
we steered her in among some young maple trees, and soon had 
her front legs chained to one of them. Alice tried to push it 
over, and came near to doing so. 

Then we quickly tied her hind legs together, — and she was 
aU ours. Seeing that all was clear for a fall, we joyously pushed 
Alice off her feet. She went over, and fell prone upon her side. 
In three minutes all her feet were securely anchored to trees, and 
we sat down upon her prostrate body. 

At that crowning indignity Alice was the maddest elephant 
in the world for that day. We gave her food, and the use of 
her trunk, and left her there twenty-four hours, to think it over. 


She deserved a vast beating with canes; but we gave her no 
punishment whatever. It would have served no good purpose. 

During the interval we telephoned to Coney Island, and 
asked Dick Richards, the former keeper of Alice, to come and 
reason with her. Promptly he came, — and he is stiU guiding 
as best he can the checkered destinies of that erring female. 

When Alice was unwound and permitted to arise,' — with cer- 
tain limitations as to her progress through the world, — ^it was 
evident that she was in a chastened mood. She quietly 
marched to her quarters at the Antelope House, and there we 
interned her. But that was not all of Alice. Very soon we 
had to move her to the completed Elephant House, half a mile 
away. Keeper Richards said that two or three times she had 
bolted into buildings at Luna Park; so we prepared to overcome 
her idiosyixcrasies by a combination of force and strategy. I 
had the men procure a strong rope about one hundred feet long, 
in the middle of which I had them fix a very nice steel hook, 
large enough to hook suddenly around a post or a tree. 

One end of that rope we tied to the left foot of Charming 
Alice, and the remainder of the rope was carried out at full 
length in front of her. 

Willingly enough she started from the Antelope House, and 
Richards led her about three hundred feet. Then she stopped, 
and disregarding all advice and hooks, started to come about, 
to return to the Antelope House. Quickly the anchor was 
hooked around the nearest fence post, and Alice fetched up 
against a force stronger than herself. She was greatly annoyed, 
' but in a few minutes decided to go on. 

Another lap of two hundred feet, and the same act was re- 
peated, without the slightest variation. 

This process continued for nearly half a mile. By that time 
we were opposite the Elk House and Alice had become wild with 
baffled rage. She tried hard to smash fences and uproot trees. 

At last she stood still and refused to move another foot; and 
then we played our ace of trumps. 


Near by, twenty laborers were working. Calling all 
hands, they took hold of that outstretched rope, and heading 
straight for the new Elephant House started a new tug of war. 
Every "heave-ho" of that 'hilarious company meant a three- 
foot step forward for Gentle Alice, — wiUy-nilly. As she raged 
and roared, the men heaved and laughed. A yard at a time 
they pulled that fatal left foot, into the corral and into the 
apartment of Alice; and she had to follow it. 

Ever since that time, Alice has been permanently under 
arrest, and confined to her quarters; but within the safe pre- 
cincts of two steel-bound yards she carries children on her back, 
and in summer earns her daily bread. 

Elephant Mentality in the Jungle. Mr. A. E. Ross, 
while Commissioner of Forests in Burma, had many interesting 
experiences with elephants, and he related the following: 

A bad-tempered mahout who had been cruel to his work- 
elephant finally so enraged the animal that it attempted to 
take revenge. To forestall an accident, the mahout was dis- 
charged, and for two years he completely disappeared. After 
that lapse of time he quietly reappeared, looking for an engage- 
ment. As the line of elephants stood at attention at feeding 
time, with a score of persons in a group before them, the 
elephant instantly recognized the face of his old enemy, rushed 
for him, and drove him out of the camp. 

An ill-tempered and dangerous elephant, feared by every- 
body, once had the end of his trunk nearly cut off in an acci- 
dent. While the animal was frantic with the pain of it, Mr. 
Ross ordered him to lie down. As the patient lay in quiet 
submission, he dressed the wound and put the trunk in rude 
bamboo splints. The elephant wisely aided the amateur ele- 
phant doctor until the wound healed; and afterward that once 
dangerous animal showed dog-like affection for Mr, Ross. 



CONSIDERED as a group, the bears of the world are 
supremely interesting animals. In fact, no group 
surpasses them save the Order Primates, and it requires 
the enrollment of all the apes, baboons and monkeys to ac- 
compUsh it. 

From sunrise to sunrise a bear is an animal of original 
thought and vigorous enterprise. Put a normal bear in any 
new situation that you please, he will try to make himself master 
of it. Use any new or strange material that you please, of 
wood, metal, stone or concrete, and he will cheerfully set out to 
find its weakest points and destroy it. If one board in a waH 
happens to be of wood a little softer than its fellows, with 
wonderful quickness and precision he will locate it. To tear 
his way out of an ordinary wooden cage he asks nothing better 
than a good crack or a soft knot as a starting point. 

Let him who thinks that all animals are mere machines of 
heredity and nothing more, take upon himself the task of col- 
lecting, yarding, housing and KEEPING a collection of thirty 
bears from all over the world, representing from ten to fifteen 
species. In a very short time the believer in bear knowledge 
by inheritance only, will begin to see evidences of new thought. 

In spite of our best calculations, in twenty-two years and 
a total of about seventy bears, we have had three bear escapes. 
The species involved were an Indian sloth bear, an American 
black bear and a Himalayan black bear. The troublesome 
three laboriously invented processes by which, supported by 
surpassing acrobatics, they were able to circumvent our over- 
hanging bars. 



Now, did the mothers of those bears bequeath to them the 
special knowledge which enabled them to perform the acrobatic 
mid-air feat of warping themselves over that sharp-pointed 
overhang barrier? No; because none of their parents ever 
saw steel cage-work of any kind. 

Universal Traits. The traits common to the majority 
of bear species as we see them manifested in captivity are the 

First, playfulness; second, spasmodic treachery; third, con- 
tentment in comfortable captivity; fourth, love of water; fifth, 
enterprise in the mischievous destruction of things that can be 

The bears of the world are distributed throughout Asia, 
Borneo, the heavy forests of Europe, all North America, and the 
northwestern portion of South America. In view of their won- 
derfully interesting traits, it is surprising that so few books 
have been written about them. The variations in bear char- 
acter and habit are almost as wide as the distribution of the 

There are four books in English that are wholly devoted 
to American bears and their doings. These are "The Grizzly 
Bear" and "The Black Bear," by WiUiam H. Wright, of Spo- 
kane (Scribner's), "The Grizzly Bear," by Enos A. Mills, and 
"The Adventures of James Capen Adams." In 1918 Dr. C. 
Hart Merriam published as No. 41 of "North American Fauna" 
a "Review of the Grizzly and Brown Bears of North America" 
(U. S. Govt.). This is a scientific paper of 135 pages, the pro- 
duct of many years of collecting and study, and it recognizes 
and describes eighty-six species and sub-species of those two 
groups in North America. The classification is based chiefly 
upon the skulls of the animals. 

It is unfortunate that up to date no bear student with a 
tireless pen has written The Book of Bears. But let no man 
rashly assume that he knows "all about bears." While many 
bears do think and act along certain lines, I am constantly 


warning my friends, "Beware of the Bear! You never can tell 
what he will do next." I hasten to state that of all the bears 
of the world, the "pet" bear is the most dangerous. 

A Story of a "Pet" Bear. In one of the cities of Can- 
ada a gentleman greatly interested in animals kept a young 
bear cub, as a pet; and once more I say — ^if thine enemy offend 
thee, present him with a black-bear cub. The bear was kept 
in a back yard, chained to a post, and after his first birthday 
that alleged "pet" dominated everything within his crrcumpolar 

One day a lady and gentleman called to see the pet, to 
observe how tame and good-natured it was. The owner took 
on his arm a basket of tempting apples, and going into the bear's 
territory proceeded to show how the Black One would eat from 
his owner's hand. 

The bear was given an apple, which was promptly eaten. 
The owner reached for a second, but instead of accepting it, the 
bear instantly became a raging demon. He struck Mr. C. a 
lightning-qiiick and powerful blow upon his head, ripping his 
scalp open. With horrible growls and bawling, the beast, 
standing fully erect, struck again and again at his victim, who 
threw his arms across his face to save it from being torn to pieces. 
Fearful blows from the bear's claw-shod paws rained upon Mr. 
C.'s head, and his scalp was almost torn away. In the melee he 
fell, and the bear pounced upon him, to kill him. 

The visiting gentleman rushed for a club. Meanwhile the 
lady visitor, rendered frantic by the sight of the bear killing her 
host, did a very brave but suicidally dangerous thing. She 
seized the hindquarters of the bear, gripping the fur in her bare 
hands, and actually dragged the animal off its victim! For- 
tunately at that dangerous juncture the lady's husband rushed 
up with a club, beat the raging animal as it deserved, and mas- 
tered it. 

The owner of the bear survived his injuries, and by a great 
effort the surgeons saved his scalp. 


A "pet" bear in its second year may become the most dan- 
gerous of all wild animals. This is because it seems so affec- 
tionate and docile, and yet is liable to turn in one second, — and 
without the slightest warning, — into a deadly enemy. 

Scores of times we have seen this quick change in temper 
take place in bears inhabiting our dens. Four bears wiU be 
'quietly and peacefully consuming their bread and vegetables 
when, — "biff I" Like a stroke of lightning a hairy right arm 
shoots out and lands with a terriffic jolt on the head of a peaceful 
companion. The victim roars, — in surprise, pain and protest, 
and then a fight is on. The aggressor roars and bawls, and 
foUows up his blow as if to exterminate his perfectly inoffensive 

Mean and cruel visitors are fond of starting bear fights by 
throwing into the cages tempting bits of fruit, or peanuts; and 
sometimes a peach stone kills a valuable bear by getting jammed 
in the pyloric orifice of the stomach. 

The owners of bears should NEVER allow visitors to throw 
food to them. Unlimited feeding by visitors wiU spoil the 
tempers of the best bears in the world. 

Power of Expression in Bears. Next to the apes and 
monkeys, I regard bears as the most demonstrative of aU wild 
animals. The average bear is proficient in the art of expression. 
The position of his ears, the pose of his head and neck, the 
mobility of his lips and his walking or his resting attitudes all 
tell their story. 

To facial and bodily expression the bear adds his voice; and 
herein he surpasses most other wild animals! According to hia 
mood he whines, he threatens, or warns by loud snorting. 
He roars with rage, and when in pain he cries, or he bawls and 
howls. In addition to this he threatens an enemy by snapping 
his jaws together with a mighty ominous clank, accompanied 
by a warning nasal whine. An angry bear wiU at times give a 
sudden rake with his claws to the ground, or the concrete on 
which he stands. 


Now, with all this facility for emotional expression, backed 
by an alert and many-sided mind, boundless energy and a playful 
disposition, is it strange that bears are among the most inter- 
esting animals in the world? 

Bears in Captivity. With but few exceptions the bears 
of the world are animals with philosophic minds, and excellent 
reasoning power, though rarely equal to that of the elephant. 
One striking proof of this is the promptness with which adult 
animals accept comfortable captivity, and settle down in con- 
tentment. What we mean by comfortable captivity very 
shortly will be defined. 

No bear should be kept in a cage with stone walls and an 
uneven floor; nor without a place tp climb; and wherein life is 
a daily chapter of inactive and lonesome discomfort and un- 
happiness. The old-fashioned bear "pit" is an abomination 
of desolation, a sink-hole of misery, and all such means of bear , 
torture should be banished from all civilized countries* \ 

He who cannot make bears comfortable, contented and^ 
happy should not keep any. -^ 

A large collection of bears of many species properly installed 
may be relied upon to reveal many variations of temperament 
and mentality, from the sanguine and good-natured stoic to 
the hysterical demon. Captivity brings out many traits of« 
character that in a wild state are either latent or absent. 

Prominent Traits of Prominent Species. After twenty 
years of daily observation we now know that 

The grizzly is the most keen-minded species of aU bears. 

The big Alaskan brown bears are the least troublesome in 

The polar bear lives behind a mask, and is not to be trusted. 

The black bear is the nearest approach to a general average 
in ursine character. 

The European brown bears are best for training and per- 

The Japanese black bear is nervous, cowardly and hysterical; 


The little Malay sun bear is the most savage and unsatis- 

The Lesson of the Polar and Grizzly. The polar 
bears of the north, and the Rocky Mountain grizzlies, a hundred 
years ago were bold and aggressive. That was in the days of 
the weak, small-bore, muzzle-loading rifles, black powder and 
slow firing. Today all that is changed. All those bears have 
recognized the fearful deadliness of the long-range, high-power 
repeating rifle, and the polar and the grizzly flee from man at 
the first sight of him, fast and far. No grizzly attacks a man 
unless it has been attacked, or wounded, or cornered, or thinks 
it is cornered. As an exception, Mr. Stefansson observed two 
or three polar bears who seemed to be quite unacquainted with 
man, and but little afraid of him. 

The great California grizzly is now believed to be totally 
extinct. The campaign of Mr. J. A. McGuire, Editor of Outdoor 
Life Magazine, to secure laws for the reasonable protection of 
bears, is wise, timely and thoroughly deserviag of success 
because such laws are now needed. The bag limit on grizzlies 
this side of Alaska should be one per year, and no trapping 
of grizzlies should be permitted ansnvhere. 

The big brown bears of Alaska have not yet recognized the 
true deadliness of man. They have vanquished so many 
Indians, and injured or killed so many white men that as yet 
they are unafraid, insolent, aggressive and dangerous. They 
need to be shot up so thoroughly that they will learn the 
lesson of the polars and grizzlies, — that man is a dangerous 
animal, and the only safe course is to run from him at first 

Bears Learn the Principles of Wild Life Protection. 
Ordinarily both the grizzlies and black bears are shy, sus- 
picious and intensely "wild" creatures; and therefore the quick- 
ness and thoroughness with which they learn that they are in 
sanctuary is all the more surprising. The protected bears of 
the Yellowstone Park for years have been to tourists a source of 


wonder and delight. The black bears are recklessly trustful, 
and familiar quite to the utmost limits. The grizzlies are more 
reserved, but they have done what the blacks have very wisely 
not done. They have broken the truce of protection, and at- 
tacked men on their own ground. 

Strange to say, of several attacks made upon camping 
parties, the most serious and most nearly fatal was that of 191 7 
upon Ned Frost, the well-known guide of Cody, Wyoming 
and his field companion. They were sleeping under their 
wagon, well wrapped from the cold in heavy blankets and 
comfortables, and it is to their bedding alone that they owe 
their lives. They were viciously attacked by a grizzly, dragged 
about and mauled, and Frost was seriously bitten and clawed. 
Fortunately the bedding engaged the activities of their assailant 
su£&ciently that the two men finally escaped alive. 

How Buffalo Jones Disciplined a Bad Grizzly. The 
most ridiculous and laughable performance, ever put up with 
a wild grizzly bear as an actor was staged by Col. C. J. ("Buf- 
falo") Jones when he was superintendent of the wild animals of 
the Yellowstone Park. He marked down for punshment a 
particularly troublesome grizzly that had often raidei to urists' 
camps at a certain spot, to steal food. Very sldlf ullydhe roped 
that grizzly around one of his hind legs, suspended him from the 
limb of a tree, and while the disgraced and outraged silver-tip 
swung to and fro, bawling, cursing, snapping, snorting and 
wildly clawing at the air, Buffalo Jones whaled it with a bean- 
pole until he was tired. With commendable forethought Mr. 
Jones had for that occasion provided a moving-picture camera, 
and this film always produces roars of laughter. 

Now, here is where we guessed wrongly. We supposed that 
whenever and wherever a well-beaten grizzly was turned loose, 
the angry animal would attack the lynching party. But not so. 
When Mr. Jones' chastened grizzly was turned loose, it thought 
not of reprisals. It wildly fled to the tall timber, plunged into 
it, and there turned over a new leaf. 


I once said: "C. J,, you ought to shoot some of those griz- 
zlies, and teach all the rest of them to behave themselves." ■ 

' ' I know it !" he responded, " I know it ! But Col. Anderson 
won't let me. He says that if we did, some people would make 
a great fuss about it; and I suppose they would." 

Recently, however, it has been found imperatively necessary 
to teach the Park grizzlies a few lessons on the sanctity of a 
sanctuary, and the rights of man. 

We will now record a few cases that serve to illustrate the 
mental traits of bears. 

Case I. The Steel Panel. Two huge male Alaskan brown 
bears, Ivan and Admiral, lived in adjoining yards. The parti- 
tion between them consisted of panels of steel. The upper 
panels were of heavy bar iron. The bottom panels, each four 
feet high and six feet long, were of flat steel bars woven into a 
basket pattern. The ends of these flat bars had been passed 
through narrow slots in the heavy steel frame, and firmly 
clinched. We would have said that no land animal smaller 
than an elephant could pull out one of those panels. 

By some strange aberration in management, one day it 
chanced that Admiral's grizzly bear wife was introduced for a 
brief space into Ivan's den. Immediately Admiral went into 
a rage, on the ground that his constitutional rights had been 
infringed. At once he set to work to recover his stolen com- 
panion. He began to test those partition panels, one by one. 
Finally he found the one that seemed to him least powerful, and 
he at once set to work to tear it out of its frame. 

The keepers knew that he could not succeed; but he 
thought differently. Hooking his short but very powerful 
claws into the meshes he braced backward and pulled. After 
a fierce struggle an upper corner yielded. Then the other 
corner yielded; and at last the whole upper line gave way. 

I reached the scene just as he finished tearing both ends free. 
I saw him bend the steel panel inward, crush it down with his 


thousand pounds of weight, and dash through the yawning 
hole into his rival's arena. 

Then ensued a great battle. The two huge bears rose high 
on their hind legs, fiercely struck out with their front paws, 
and fought mouth to mouth, always aiming to grip the throat. 
They bit each other's cheeks but no serious injuries were in- 
flicted, and very soon by the vigorous use of pick-handles the 
two bear keepers drove the fighters apart. 

Case 2. Ivan's Begging Scheme. Ivan came from Alaska 
when a small cub and he has long been the star boarder at the 
Bear Dens. He is the most good-natured bear that we have, 
and he has many thoughts. Having observed the high arm 
motion that a keeper makes in throwing loaves of bread over 
the top of the nine-foot cage work, Ivan adopted that motion as 
part of his sign language when food is in sight outside. He 
stands up high, like a man, and with his left arm he motions, 
just as the keepers do. Again and again he waves his mighty 
arm, coaxingly, suggestively, and it says as plain as print: 
" Come on ! Throw it in ! Throw it !" 

If there is too much delay in the response, he motions with 
his right paw, also, both arms working together. It is irre- 
sistible. At least 500 times has he thus appealed, and he will 
do it whenever a loaf of bread is held up as the price of an exhi- 
bition of his sign language. Of course Ivan thought this out 
himself, and put it into practice for a very definite purpose. 

Case 3. Ivan's Invention for Cracking Beef Bones. 
Ivan invented a scheme for cracking large beef bones, to get 
at the ultimate morsels of marrow. He stands erect on his 
hind feet, first holds the picked bone against his breast, then 
with his right paw he poises it very carefuUy upon the back of his 
left paw. When it is well balanced he flings it about ten feet 
straight up into the air. When it falls upon the concrete floor 
a sufficient number of times it breaks, and Ivan gets his well- 
earned reward. This same plan was pursued by Billy, 
another Alaskan brown bear. 


Case 4. A Bear's Ingenious Use of a Door. When 
Admiral is annoyed and chased disagreeably by either of his 
two cage-mates he runs into his sleeping-den, slams the steel 
door shut from the inside, and thus holds his tormentors com- 
pletely at bay until it suits him to roll the door back again 
and come out. At night in winter when he goes to bed he 
almost always shuts the door tightly from within, and keeps it 
closed all night. He does not believe in sleeping-porches, nor 
wide-open windows in sleeping-quarters. 

Case 5. Admiral Will Not Tolerate White Boots. Re- 
cently our bear keepers have found that Admiral has violent 
objections to boots of white rubber. Keeper Schmidt purchased 
a pair, to take the place of his old black ones, but when he first 
wore them into the den for washing the floor the bear flew at 
him so quickly and so savagely that he had aU he could do to 
make a safe exit. A second trial having resulted similarly, he 
gave the boots a coat of black paint. But one coat was not 
wholly satisfactory to Admiral. He saw the hated white 
through the one coat of black, promptly registered "disap- 
proval," and the patient keeper was forced to add another coat 
of black. After that the new boots were approved. 

Case 6. The Mystery of Death. Once upon a time we 
had a Japanese black bear named Jappie, quartered in a 
den with a Himalayan black bear, — the species with long, black 
side-whiskers and a white tip to its chin. The Japanese bear 
was about one-third smaller than the Himalayan black. 

One night the Japanese bear died, and in the morning the 
keepers found it lying on the level concrete top of the sleeping 

At once they went in to remove the body; but the Himalayan 
black bear angrily refused to permit them to touch it. For half 
an hour the men made one effort after another to coax, or enticog 
or to drive the guardian bear away from the dead body, but in 
vain. When I reached the strange and uncanny scene, the 
guardian bear was in a great rage. It took a position across the 


limp body, and from that it fiercely refused to move or to be 
driven. As an experiment we threw in a lot of leaves, and the 
guardian promptly raked them over the dead one and stood pat. 

We procured a long pole, and from a safe place on the top 
of the nearest overhang, a keeper tried to prod or push away the 
guardian of the dead. The living one snarled, roared, and with 
savage vigor bit the end of the pole. By the time the bear was 
finally enticed with food down to the front of the den, and the 
body removed, seven hours had elapsed. 

Now, what were the ideas and emotions of the bear? One 
man can answer about as well as another. We think that the 
living bear realized that something terrible had happened to its 
cage-mate, — in whom he never before had manifested any guar- 
dianship interest, — and he felt called upon to defend a friend 
who was very much down and out. It was the first time that 
he had encountered the great mystery, Death; and whatever it 
was, he resented it. 

Case 7. A Terrible Punishment. Once we had a par- 
ticularly mean and vicious young Adirondack black bear named 
Tommy. In a short time he became known as Tommy the 
Terror. We put him into a big yard with Big Ben, from 
Florida, and two other bears smaller than Ben, but larger than 

In a short time the Terror had whipped and thoroughly 
cowed Bruno and Jappie. Next he tackled Ben; but Ben's 
great bulk was too much for him. Finally he devoted a lot of 
time to bullying and reviling through the bars a big but good- 
natured cinnamon bear, named Bob, who lived in the next den. 
In all his life up to that time. Bob had had only one fight. 
Tommy's treatment of Bob was so irritating to everybody that 
it was much remarked upon; and presently we learned how Bob 
felt about it. 

One morning while doing the cage work, the keeper walked 
through the partition gate from Bob's den into Tommy's. 
He slammed the iron gate behind him, as usual, but this time the 


latch did not catch as usual. In a moment Bob became aware 
of this unstable condition. Very innocently he sauntered up 
to the gate, pushed it open, and walked through into the next 
den. The keeper was then twenty feet away, but a warning 
cry from without set him in motion to stop the intruder. 

Having no club to face. Bob quietly ignored the keeper's 
broom. Paying not the slightest attention to the three inof- 
fensive bears. Bob fixed his gaze on the Terror, at the far end of 
the den, then made straight for him. Tommy made a feeble 
attempt at defense, but Bob seized him by the back, bit him, 
and savagely shook him as a terrier shakes a rat. The Terror 
yelled lustily "Murder! Murder! Help!" but none of the other 
bears made a move for his defense. Bob was there to give Tom- 
my the punishment that was due him for his general meanness 
and his insulting behavior. 

The horrified keeper secured his pike-pole, with a stout spike 
set in the end for defense, and drove the spike into Bob's 
shoulder. Bob went right on killing the Terror. Again the 
keeper drove in his goad, and blood flowed freely; but Bob 
paid not the slightest attention to this severe punishment. 

Then the keeper began to beat the cinnamon over the nose; 
and that made him yield. He gave the Terror a parting shake, 
let him go, and with a bloody shoulder deliberately walked out 
of that den and into his own. The punishment of the Terror 
went to the full limit, and we think all those bears approved it. 
In a few hours he died of his injuries. 

Case 8. The Grizzly Bear and the String. One of the 
best illustrations I know of the keenness and originality of a 
wild bear's mind and senses, is found in Mr. W. H. Wright's ac- 
count of the grizzly bear he did not catch with an elk bait and 
two set guns, in the Bitter Root Moimtains. This story is 
related in Chapter VI. 

Case 9. Silver King's Memory of His Capture. At 
this moment we have a huge polar bear who refuses to forget 
that he was captured in the water, in Kane Basin, and who now 


avoids the water in his swimming pool, ahnost as much as any 
burned child dreads fire. Throughout the hottest months of 
midsummer old Silver King lies on the rock floor of his huge 
and handsome den, grouching and grumbling, and not more than 
once a week enjo3ring a swim in his spacious pool. No other 
polar bear of ours ever manifested such an aversion for water. 
The other polar bears who have occupied that same den loved 
that pool beyond compare, and used to play in its waters for 
hours at a time. Evidently the chase of Silver King through 
green arctic water and over ice floes, mile after mile, his final 
lassoing, and the drag behind a motor boat to the ship were, 
to old Silver King, a terrible tragedy. Now he regards all 
deep water as a trap to catch bears, but, strange to relate, the 
winter's snow and ice seem to renew his interest in his swimming 
pool. Occasionally he is seen at play in the icy water, and toy- 
ing with pieces of ice. 

Memory in Bears. I think that ordinarily bear memory 
for human faces and voices is not long. Once I saw Mr. William 
Lyman Underwood test the memory of a black bear that for 
eighteen months had been his household pet and daily com- 
panion. After a separation of a year, which the bear spent in 
a public park near Boston, Mr. Underwood approached, alone, 
close up to the bars of his cage. He spoke to him in the old 
way, and called him by his old name, but the bear gave abso- 
lutely no sign of recognition or remembrance. 

How a Wild Grizzly Bear Caches Food. The silver- 
tip grizzly bear of the Rocky Mountains has a mental trait and 
a corresponding habit which seems to be unique in bear char- 
acter. It is the habit of burying food for future use. Once I 
had a rare opportunity to observe this habit. It was in the 
Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, in the month of Septem- 
ber (1905), while bears were very active. 

Mr. John M. Phillips and I shot two large white goats, one 
of which rolled down a steep declivity and out upon the slide- 
rock, where it was skinned. The flensed body of the other was 


rolled over the edge of a cliff, and fell on a brushy soil-covered 
spot about on the same level as the remains of goat No. i. 

The fresh goat remains were promptly discovered by a lusty 
young grizzly, which ate to satiety from Goat No. i. With the 
remains of Goat No. 2 the grizzly industriously proceeded to 
establish a cache of meat for future use. 

The goat carcass was dragged to a well chosen spot of se- 
clusion on moss-covered earth. On the steep hillside a shallow 
hole was dug, the whole carcass rolled into it, and then upon it 
the bear piled nearly a wagon load of fresh earth, moss, and 
green plants that had been torn up by the roots. Over the 
highest point of the carcass the mass wastwenty-f ourinchesdeep. 
On the ground the cache was elliptical in shape, and its outline 
measured about seven by nine feet. On the lower side it was 
four feet high, and on the upper side two feet. The cache was 
built around two larch saplings,^ as if to secure their support. 
On the uphill side of the cache the ground was torn up in a space 
shaped like a half moon, twenty-eight feet long by nineteen 

I regard that cache as a very impressive exhibit of ursine 
thought, reasoriing and conclusion. It showed more fore- 
thought and provision, and higher purpose in the conservation 
of food than some human beings ever display, even at their best. 
The plains Indians and the buffalo hunters were horribly waste- 
ful and improvident. The impulse of that grizzly was to make 
good use of every pound of^that meat, and to conserve for the future. 

Survival of the Bears. — The bears of North America 
have survived thirty thousand years after the lions and the 
sabre-toothed tigers" of La Brea perished utterly and dis- 
appeared. But there were bears also in those days, as the 
asphalt pits reveal. Now, why did not all the bears of North 
America share the fate of the lions and the tigers? It seems 
reasonable to answer that it was because the bears were wiser, 
more gifted in the art of self-preservation, and more resourceful 
in execution. In view of the omnivorous menu of bears, and 


their appalling dependence upon small things for food, it is to 
me marvelous that they now maintain themselves with such 
astounding success. 

A grizzly will dig a big and rocky hole three or four feet 
deep to get one tiny ground-squirrel, a tidbit so small that an 
adult grizzly could surely eat one hundred of them, like so 
many plums, at one sitting. A bear will feed on berries under 
such handicaps that one would not be surprised to see a bear 
starve to death in a berry-patch. 

But almost invariably the wild bear when killed is fairly 
well fed and prosperous; and I fancy that no one ever found 
a bear that had died of cold and exposure. The cunning of 
the black bear in self-preservation surpasses that of all other 
large mammal species of North America save the wolf, the 
white-tailed deer and the coyote. In the game of self-pre- 
servation I will back that quartet against all the other large 
land animals of North America. 

What Constitutes Comfortable Captivity. It is im- 
possible for any man of good intelligence to work continuously 
with a wild animal without learning something of its thoughts 
and its temper. 

In our Zoological Park, day by day and hour by hour our 
people carry into practical effect their knowledge of the psy- 
chology of our mammals, birds and reptiles. In view of the 
work that we have done during the past twenty-one years of 
the Park's history, we do not need to apologize for claiming to 
know certain definite things about wild animal minds. It is 
my belief that nowhere in the world is there in one place so 
large an aggregation of dangerous beasts, birds and reptiles as 
ours. And yet accidents to our keepers from them have been 
exceedingly few, and all have been slight save four. 

Twenty-five years ago I endeavored to plan for the Zoo- 
logical Society the most humane and satisfactory bear dens on 
earth. Fortunately we knew something about bears, both 
wild and captive. Never before have we written out the exact 


motif of those dens, but it is easily told. We endeavored to 
give each bear the following things: 

A very large and luxurious den, open to the sky, and 
practically on a level with the world; 

Perfect sanitation; 

A great level playground of smooth concrete; 

High, sloping rocks to climb upon when tired of the level 

A swimming pool, always full and always clean; 

Openwork steel partitions between cages, do promote 
sociabiUty and cheerfulness; 

Plenty of sunlight, but an adequate amount of shade; 

Dry and dark sleeping dens with wooden floors, and 

Close-up views of all bears for all visitors. 

If there are ansrwhere in the wilds any bears as healthy, 
happy and as secure in their life tenure as ours, I do not know 
of them. The wild bear Uves in hourly fear of being shot, 
and of going to bed hungry. 

The service of our bear dens is based upon our knowledge 
of bear pyschology. We knew in the beginning that about 97 
per cent of our bears would come to us as cubs, or at least 
when quite young, and we decided to take full advantage of 
that fact. All our bears save half a dozen all told, have been 
trained to permit the keepers of the dens to go into their 
cages, and to make no ftiss about it. The bears know that 
when the keepers enter to do the morning housework, or at 
any other time for any other purpose, they must at once 
climb up to the gallery, above the sleeping dens, and stay there 
until the keepers retire. A bear who is slow about going up 
is sternly ordered to "Go on!" and if he shows any inclination 
to disobey, a heavy hickory pick-handle is thrown at him with 
no uncertain hand. 

Now, in grooming a herd of bears, a hickory pick-handle 
leaves no room for argument. If it hits, it hurts. If it does 
not hit a bear, it strikes the concrete floor or the rocks with 


a resound and a rebound that frightens the boldest bear 
almost as much as being hit. So the bear herd wisely climbs 
up to the first balcony and sits down to wait. No bear ever 
leaps down to attack a keeper. The distance and the jolt 
are not pleasant; and whenever a bear grows weary and essays 
to climb down, he is sternly ordered back. The keepers are 
forbidden to permit any familiarities on the part of their bears. 

All the bears, save one, that have come to us fully grown, 
and savage, have been managed by other methods, involving 
shifting cages. 

On two occasions only have any of our keepers been badly 
bitten in our bear dens. Both attacks were due to over- 
trustfulness of "petted" bears, and to direct disobedience of 
fixed orders. 

From the very beginning I laid down this law for our 
keepers, and have repeated it from year to year. 

" Make no pets of animals large enough to become dangerous. 
Make every animal understand and admit day by day that 
you are absolute master, that it has got to obey, and that if 
it disobeys, or attacks you, you will kill it!" 

Familiarity with a dangerous wild animal usually breeds 
contempt and attack. 

Timidity is so fatal that none but courageous and deter- 
mined men should be chosen, or he permitted, to take care of 
dangerous animals. 

In every zoological garden heroic deeds are common; and 
the men take them aU as coming in the day's work. Men in 
positions of control over zoological parks and gardens should 
recognize it as a solenm duty to provide good salaries for all 
men who take care of live wild mammals, birds and reptiles. 
A man who is in daily danger of getting hurt should not emery 
waking hour of his life he harried and worried by poverty in his 

Let me cite one case of real heroism in our bear dens, which 
went in with "the day's work," as many others have done. 


Keeper Fred Schlosser thought it would be safe to take 
our official photographer, Mr. E. R. Sanborn, into the den of 
a European brown bear mother, to get a close-up photograph 
of her and her cubs. Schlosser felt sure that Brownie was 
"all right," and th|,t he could prevent any accident. 

But near the end of the work the mother bear drove her 
cubs into their Sleeping den and then made a sudden, vicious 
and most unexpected attack upon Keeper Schlosser. She 
rushed him, knocked him down, seized him by his thigh, bit 
him severely, and then actually began to drag him to the door 
of her sleeping den! (Just why she did this I cannot explain!) 

Heroically ignoring the great risk to himself, and thinking 
of nothing but saving Schlosser, Mr. Sanborn seized the club 
that had fallen from the keeper's hand when he fell, rushed 
up to the enraged bear and beat her over the head so savagely 
and so skilfuUy that she was glad to let go of her victim and 
retreat into her den. Then Mr. Sanborn seized Schlosser, 
dragged him away from the den, and stood guard over him 
until help came. 



WHEN we wish to cover with a single word the hoofed 
and homed "big game" of the world, we say Ruminants. 
That easy and comprehensive name embraces (i) the 
Bison and Wild Cattle, (2) the Sheep, Goats, Ibexes and 
Markhors, (3) the Deer Family and (4) the Antelope Family. 
These groups must be considered separately, because the 
variations in mind and temperament are quite well marked; 
but beyond wisdom in self-preservation, I do fiot regard the 
intelligence of wild riuninants as being really great. 

Intellectually the ruminants are not as high as the apes 
and monkeys, bears, wolves, foxes and dogs, the domestic 
horses and the elephants. They are handicapped by feet 
that are good for locomotion and defense, but otherwise are 
almost as helpless as so many jointed sticks. This condition 
closes to the ruminants the possibility of a long program of 
activities which the ruminant brain might otherwise develop. 
The ruminant hoof and leg is well designed for swift and 
rough travel, for battles with distance, snow, ice, mud and 
flood, and for a certain amount of fighting, but they are inept 
for the higher manifestations of brain power. 

Because of this unfortunate condition, the study of rumi- 
nants in captivity does not yield a great crop of results. The 
free wild animals are far better subjects, and it is from them 
that we have derived our best knowledge of ruminant thoughts 
and ways. It is not possible, however, to set forth here any 
more than a limited number of representative species. 

Bison. — Through the age-long habit of the American bison 



to live in large herds, and to feel, generation after generation, 
the sense of personal security that great numbers usually 
impart, the bison early acquired the reputation of being 
a stolid or even a stupid animal. Particularly was this the case 
in the days of the greatest bison destruction, when a still- 
hunter could get "a stand" on a bunch of buffaloes quietly 
grazing at the edge of the great mass, and slowly and surely 
shoot down each animal that attempted to lead that group 
away from the sound of his rifle. 

During that fatal period the state of the buffalo mind was 
nothing less than a tragedy. "The bunch" would hear a 
report two hundred yards away, they would see a grazing cow 
suddenly and mysteriously fall, struggle, kick the air, and pre- 
sently lie still. The individuals nearest dully wondered what it 
was all about. Those farthest away looked once only, and went 
on grazing. If an experienced old cow grew suspicious and 
wary, and quietly set out to walk away from those mysterious 
noises, "bang!" said the Mystery once more, and she would 
be the one to fall. On this murderous plan, a lucky and 
experienced htmter could kill from twenty to sixty head of 
buffaloes, mostly cows, on a space of three or four acres. The 
fatal trouble was that each buffalo felt that the presence of 
a hundred or a thousand others feeding close by was an in- 
surance of security to the individual, and so there was no 

But after all, the bison is not so big a fool as he looks. He 
can think; and he can learn. 

In 1886, when we were about to set out for Montana to 
try to find a few wild buffaloes for the National Museum, 
before the reckless cowboys could find, kill and waste absolutely 
the last one, a hilarious friend said: 

"Pshaw! You don't need to take any rifles! Just get a 
rusty old revolver, mount a good, sensible horse, ride right 
up alongside the lumbering old beasts, and shoot them down 
at arm's length." 


We went; but not armed with "a rusty old revolver." 
We found a few buffaloes, but ye gods! How changed they 
were from the old days! Although only two short years had 
elapsed since the terminal slaughter of the hundreds of thou- 
sands whose white skeletons then thickly dotted the Missouri- 
Yellowstone divide, they had learned fear of man, and also 
how to preserve themselves from that dangerous wild beast. 
They sought the remotest bad lands, they hid in low grounds, 
they watched sharply during every daylight hour, and when- 
ever a man on horseback was sighted they were off like a bunch 
of racers, for a long and frantic run straight away from the 
trouble-maker. Even at a distance of two miles, or as far as 
they could see a man, they would run from him, — ^not one 
nule, or two, but five miles, or seven or eight miles, to another 
wild and rugged hiding-place. 

To kill the buffalo specimens that we needed, three cowboys 
and the writer worked hard for nearly three months, and it 
was all that we could do to outwit those man-scared bison, 
and to get near enough to them to kill what we required. 
Many a time, when weary from a long chase, I thought with 
bitter scorn of my friend with the rusty-old-revolver in his 
mind. No deer, mountain sheep, tiger, bears nor elephants, — 
all of 'which I have pursued (and sometimes overtaken!) — 
were ever more wary or keen in self-preservation than those 
bison who ai last had broken out from under the fatal spell of 
herd security. I am really glad that this strange turn of 
Fortune's wheel gave me the knowledge of the true scope of 
the buffalo mind before the last chance had passed. 

What did a wild buffalo do when he found himself with 
a broken leg, and unable to travel, but otherwise sound? 
Did he go limping about over the landscape, to attract enemies 
from afar, and be quickly shot by a man or torn to pieces by 
wolves? Not he! With the keen intelligence of the wounded 
wild nmiinant, he chose the line of least resistance, and on 
three legs fled downhill. He went on down, and kept going. 


until he reached the bottom of the biggest and most tortuous 
coulee in his neighborhood. And then what? Instead of 
coming to rest in a reposeful little valley a hundred feet wide, 
he chose the most rugged branch he could find, the one with 
the steepest and highest banks, and up that dry bed, with 
many a twist and turn, he painfully limped his way. At last 
he found himself in a snug and safe ditch, precisely like a front 
line trench seven feet wide, with perpendicular walls and 
zig-zagging so persistently that the de'il himself could not find 
him save by following him up to close quarters, and landing 
upon his horns. There, without food or water, the wounded 
animal would stand for many days, — in fact, until hunger 
would force him back to the valley's crop of grass. His wild 
remedy was to keep still, and give that broken leg its chance to 
knit and grow strong. 

I have seen in buffalo skeletons healed bone fractures that 
filled us with wonder. One case that we shot was a big and 
heavy bull whose hip socket had been utterly smashed, femur 
head and all, by a heavy rifle ball; but the bull had escaped in 
spite of his wound, and he had nursed it until it had healed 
in good working order. We can testify that he could run as 
well as any of the bisons in his bunch. 

Of course young bisons can be tamed, and to a certain 
extent educated. "Buffalo" Jones broke a pair of two-year- 
old bulls to work under a yoke, and puU a light wagon. He 
tried them with bridles and bits, but the buffaloes refused to 
work with them. With tight-fitting halters, and the exercise 
of much muscle, he was able for a time to make them "gee" 
and "haw." But not for long. When they outgrew his ability 
in free-hand drawing, he rigged an upright windlass on each 
side of his wagon-box, and firmly attached a line to each. 
When the team was desired to "gee," he deftly wound up the 
right line on its windlass, and vice versa for "haw." 

But even this did not last a great while. The motor 
control was more tentative than absolute. Once while driving 


beside a creek on a hot and thirsty day, the super-heated 
buffaloes Suddenly espied the water, twenty feet or so below 
the road. Without having been bidden they turned toward 
it, and the windlass failed to stop them. Over the cut bank 
they went, wagon, man and buffalo bulls, "in one red burial 
blent." Although they secured their drink, their reputation as 
draught oxen was shattered beyond repair, and they were 
cashiered the service. 

Elsewhere I have spoken of the bison's temper and 

THE WILD SHEEP.— It takes most newly-captured 
adult mountain sheep about six months in palatial zoo quarters 
to get the idea out of their heads that every man who comes 
near them, even including the man who feeds and waters them, 
is going to kill them, and that they must rusji widly to and fro 
before it occurs. But there are exceptions. 

At the same time, wild herds soon learn the large difference 
between slaughter and protection, and thereafter accept man's 
hay and salt with dignity and persistence. The fine big-horn 
photographs that have been taken of mid sheep herds on 
public highways just outside of Banff, Alberta, tell their own 
story more eloquently than words can do. The photograph 
of wild sheep, after only twenty-seven years of protection, 
feeding in herds in the main street of Ouray, Colorado, is an 
object lesson never to be forgotten by any student of wild 
animal psychology. And can any such student look upon such 
a picture and say that those animals have not thought to 
some purpose upon the important question of danger and 
safety to sheep? 

Is there anyone left who still believes the ancient and bizarre 
legend that mountain sheep rams jump off cliffs and alight 
upon their horns? I think not. People now know enough 
about anatomy, and the mental traits of wild sheep, to know 
that nothing of that kind ever occurred save by a dreadful 
accident, followed by the death of the sheep. No spinal 


column was ever made by Nature or developed by man that 
could endure without breaking a headforemost fall from the top 
of a diff to the slide-rock bottom thereof. 

In Colorado, in May 1907, the late Judge T). C. Beaman 
of Denver saw a big-horn ram which was pursued by dogs to 
the precipitous end of a mountain ridge, take a leap for life 
into space from top to bottom. The distance straight down 
was "between twenty and twenty-five feet." The ram 
went down absolutely upright, with his head fully erect, and 
his feet well apart. He landed on the slide rock on his feet, 
broke no bones, promptly recovered himself and dashed away 
to safety. Judge Beaman declared that "the dogs were afraid 
to approach even as near as the edge of the cliff at the point 
from which the sheep leaped off." 

John Muir held the opinion that the legend of hom-landing 
sheep was born of the wild descent of frightened sheep down 
rocks so steep that they seemed perpendicular but were not, 
and the sheep, after touching here and there in the wild pitch 
sometimes landed in a heap at the bottom, — quite against their 
will. To me this has always seemed a reasonable explanation. 

The big-horn sheep has one mental trait that its host of 
ardent admirers little suspect. It does not like pinnacle rocks, 
nor narrow ledges across perpendicular cliffs, nor dangerous 
climbing. It does not "leap from crag to crag," either up, 
down or across. Go where you wiU in sheep hunting, nine 
times out of ten you wiU find your game on perfectly safe 
ground, from which there is very little danger of falling. 

In spirit and purpose the big-horns are great pioneers and 
explorers. They always want to see what is on the other 
side of the range. They wiU sight a range of far distant 
desert mountains, and to see what is there will travel by night 
across ten or twenty miles of level desert to find out. 

It was in the Pinacate Mountains of northwestern Mexico, 
on the eastern shore of the head of the Gulf of California, that 
we made our most interesting observations on wild big-horn 


sheep. On those black and blasted peaks and plains of lava, 
where nature was working hard to replant with desert vegeta- 
tion a vast volcanic area, we found herds of short-haired, 
undersized big-horn sheep, struggling to hold their own against 
terrific heat, short food and long thirst. It is a burning shame 
that since our discovery of those sheep hunters of a dozen 
different kinds have almost exterminated them. 

We saw one band of seventeen sheep, close to Pinacate 
Peak, all so utterly ignorant of the ways of men that they 
practically refused to be frightened at our presence and our 
silent guns. We watched them a long time, forgetful of the 
flight of time. They were not shrewdly suspicious of danger. 
They fed, and frolicked, and dozed, as much engrossed in their 
indolence as if the world contained no dangers for them 

One day Mr. John M. Phillips and I shot two rams, for the 
Carnegie Museum; and the next morning I had the most 
remarkable lesson that I ever learned in mountain sheep 

Early on that November morning Mr. Jeff Milton and I 
left our chilly lair in a lava ravine, and most foolishly left both 
our rifles at our camp. Hobbling along on foot we led a pack 
mule over half a mile of rough and terrible lava to a dead sheep. 
There we quickly skinned the animal, packed the skin and 
a homed head upon the upper deck of our mule, and started 
back to camp, leading our assistant. Half way back we 
looked westward across an eighth of a mile of rough, black 
lava, and saw standing on a low point a fine big-horn ram. 
He stood in a statuesque attitude, facing us, and fixedly gazing 
at us. He was trying to make out what we were, and to 
determine why a perfectly good pair of sheep horns should 
grow out of the back of a sorrel mule! Ethically he had a 
right to be puzzled. 

Mr. Milton and I were greatly annoyed by the absence of 
our rifles; and he proposed that we should leave the mule 
where he stood, go back to our camp, get our guns, and kill 


This ''lava ram " stood thus on a lava crest in the Pinacate Mountains for about twenty 
minutes, gazing spellbound at two men and a pack mule. (See page 149J 


the sheep. Now, even then I was quite well up on the subject 
of curiosity in wild animals, and I knew to a minute what to 
count upon as the standing period of sheep, goat or deer. As 
gently as possible I informed Milton that no sheep would ever 
stand and look at a sorrel mule for the length of time it would 
take us to foot it over that lava to camp, and return. 

But my companion was optimistic, and even skeptical. 

"Maybe he will, now!" he persisted. "Let's try it. I 
think he may wait for us." 

Much against my judgment, and feeling secretly rebellious 
at the folly of it all, I agreed to his plan, — solely to be "a good 
sport," and to play his game. But / knew that the effort would 
be futile, as well as exhausting. Jeff tied the mule, for the 
sheep to contemplate. 

We went and got those rifles. We were gone fully 
twenty minutes. When we again reached the habitat of the 
mule, that ram was still there! Apparently he had not moved 
a muscle, nor stirred a foot, nor even batted an eye. Talk 
about curiosity in a wild animal! He was a living statue of it. 

He continued to hold his pose on his lava point while we 
stalked him under cover of a hillock of lava, and shot him, — 
almost half an hour after we first saw him. He had been 
overwhelmingly puzzled by the uncanny sight of a pair of 
curling horns like his own, growing out of the back of a long- 
eared sorrel mule which he felt had no zoological right to wear 
them. He did his level best to think it out; he became a 
museum specimen in consequence, and he has gone down in 
history as the Curiosity Ram. - — 

Mental Attitude of Captured Big-Hom Sheep. In 
1906 an enterprising and irrepressible young man named Will 
Frakes took the idea into his head that he must catch some 
mountain sheep alive, and do it alone and single-handed. 
Presently he located a few Ovis nelsoni in the Avavs^atz Moun- 
tains near Death Valley, California. Finding a water hole to 
which mountain sheep occasionally came at night to drink, 


he set steel traps around it. One by one he caught five sheep of 
various ages, but chiefly adults. The story of this interesting 
performance is told in Outdoor Life magazine for March, April 
and May, 1907. 

I am interested in the mental processes of those sheep as 
they came in close contact with man, and were compelled by 
force of circumstances to accept captivity. Knowing, as all 
animal men do, the fierce resistance usually made by adult 
animals to the transition from freedom to captivity, I was 
prepared to read that those nervous and fearsome adult sheep 
fought day by day until they died. 

But not so. Those sheep showed clear perceptive faculties 
and good judgment. They were quick to learn that they were 
conquered, and with amazing resignation they accepted the 
new life and its strange conditions. In describing the chase 
on foot in thick darkness of a big old male mountain sheep with 
a steel trap fast on his foot, Mr. Frakes says: 

"A sheep's token of surrender is to lie down and lie still. 
Once he 'possums, no matter what you do, or how badly you 
may hurt him, he will never flinch. And when this sheep 
("Old Stonewall") was thrown down by the trap, he evidently 
thought that he was captured, and lay still for a few minutes 
before he found out the difference, which gave me time to come 
up with him. ... So I went to camp, got a trap clamp 
and some sacks, made a kind of sled and dragged him in. It 
was just midnight when I got him tied down, and just sun-up 
when I got to camp with him. I fixed him up the best I could, 
stood him up beside the other big-horn and took their pictures. 
He looked so "rough and ready" that I named him "Old Stone- 
wall." But for all his proud, defiant bearing he has always 
been a good sheep, and never tried to fight me. Still he can hit 
quick and hard when he wants to, and I have to keep him tied 
up all the time to keep him from killing the other bucks." 

Now, I know not what conclusion others will draw from the 
above clear and straightforward recital, but to me it established 


in Ovis nelsoni a reputation for quick thinking, original reason- 
ing and sound conclusions. In an incredibly short period those 
animals came up to the status of tame animals. The five 
sheep caught by Mr. Frakes were suddenly confronted by new 
conditions, such as their ancestors had never even dreamed of 
meeting; and all of them reacted in the same way. That was 
more than "animal behavior." It was Thought, and Reason! 

THE GOATS. White Mountain Goat.— I never have 
had any opportunity to study at length, in the wilds, the 
mental traits of the markhors, ibexes, gorals or serows. I have 
however, enjoyed rare opportunities with the white Rocky 
Mountain goat, on the summits of the Canadian Rockies as 
well as in captivity. 

Where we were, on the Elk River Mountains of East 
Kootenay, the goats had little fear of man. They did not 
know that we were in the group of the world's most savage 
predatory animals, and we puzzled them. Fourteen of them 
once leisurely looked down upon us from the edge of a cliff, 
and silently studied us for a quarter of an hour. An hour 
later three of them ran through our camp. One morning an 
old billy calmly lay down to rest himself on the mountain side 
about 300 feet above our tents. At last, however, he became 
uneasy, and moved away. 

This goat is not a timid and fearsome soul, ready to go 
into a panic in the presence of danger. The old billy believes 
that the best defense is a vigorous offense. On the spot where 
Cranbrook, B. C, now stands, an old billy was caught unawares 
on an open plain and surrounded by Indians, dogs and horses. 
In the battle that ensued he so nearly whipped the entire outfit 
that a squaw rushed wildly to the rescue with a loaded rifle, to 
enable the Red army to win against the one lone goat. 

In those mountains the white goat, grizzly bear, motintain 
sheep, mule deer and elk all live together, in perfect liaison, 
and never but once have I heard of the goat getting into 
a fight with a joint-tenant species. A large silver-tip grizzly 


rashly attacked a full-grown billy, and managed to inflict 
upon him mortal injuries. Before he fell, however, the goat 
countered by driving his little skewer-sharp black horns into 
the vitals of the grizzly with such judgment and precision that 
the dead grizzly was found by Mr. A. B. Fenwick quite near 
the dead goat. 

We know that the mountain goat is a good reasoner in 
certain life-or-death matters affecting himself. 

He knows no such thing as becoming panic-stricken from 
surprise or fear. An animal that looks death in the face every 
hour from sunrise imtil sunset is not to be upset by trifles. We 
have seen that if a dog and several men corner a goat on a 
precipice ledge, and hem him in so that there is no avenue of 
escape, he does not grow frantic, as any deer or most sheep 
would do, and plunge off into space to certain death. Not he. 
He stands quite still, glares indignantly upon his enemies, 
shakes his head, occasionally grits his teeth or stamps a foot, 
but otherwise waits. His attitude and his actions say: 

"Well, it is your move. What are you going to do next?" 

Most captive ruminants struggle frantically when put into 
crates for shipment. White goats very rarely do so. They 
recognize the inevitable, and accept it with resignation. 
Captive antelopes and deer often kill themselves by dashing 
madly against wire fences, but I never knew a white goat to 
injure itself on a fence. Many a wild animal has died from 
fighting its shipping crate; but no wild goat ever did so. A 
white goat wiU walk up a forty-five degree plank to the roof 
of his house, climb all over it, and joyously perch on the peak; 
but no mountain sheep or deer of ours ever did so. They are 
afraid! Only the Himalayan tahr equals the white goat in 
climbing in captivity, and it wiU climb into the lower branches 
of an oak tree, just for fun. 

Of all the ruminant animals I know intimately, the white 
mountain goat is the philosopher-in-chief. Were it not so, how 
would it be possible for him to live and thrive, and attain 



He refused to be stampeded off his ledge by men or dop. Photographed at eight feet 
by John M. Phillips (1905) 


happiness, on the savage and fearsome summits that form his 
chosen home? We must bear in mind that the big-horn does 
not dare to risk the haunts and trails of his white rivals. Hear 
the Cragmaster of the Rockies: 

l"On dizzy ledge of mountain wall, above the timber-line 
I hear the riven slide-rock fall toward the stunted pine. 
Upon the paths I tread secure no foot dares follow me, 
For I am master of the crags, and march above the scree." 

In other chapters I have referred to the temperament and 
logic of this animal, the bravest mountaineer of all America. 

THE DEER. — In nervous energy the species of the Deer 
Family vary all the way from the nervous and hysterical 
barasingha to the sensible and steady American elk that can 
successfully be driven in harness like a horse. As I look over 
the deer of all nations I am bound to award the palm for 
sound common-sense and reasoning power to the elk. 

A foolishly nervous deer seldom takes time to display high 
intelligence. Naturally we dislike men, women, children or 
wild animals who are always ready to make fools of themselves, 
stampede, and disfigure the landscape. 

The Axis Deer is quietly sensible, — so long as there is no 
catching to be done. Try to catch one, and the whole herd 
goes off like a bomb. Many other species are similar. No 
wild deer could act more absurdly than does the axis, the 
barasingha and fallow, even after generations have been bred 
in captivity. 

The Malay Sambar Deer of the Zoological Park have 
one droll trait. The adult bucks bully and browbeat the does, 
in a rather mild way, so long as their own antlers are on their 
heads. But when those antiers take their aimual drop, "O, 
times! O, manners! What a change!" The does do not 
lose a day in flying at them, and taking revenge for past 
t3T:anny. They strike the hornless bucks with their front feet, 
they butt them, and they bite out of them mouthfuls of hair. 


The bucks do not seem to know that they can fight without 
their antlers, and so the tables are completely turned. This 
continues until the new horns grow out, the velvet dries and is 
rubbed off, — and then quickly the tables are turned again. 

No other deer species of my personal acquaintance has ever 
equaled the American elk of Wyoming in recognizing man's 
protection and accepting his help in evil times. It is not only 
a few wise ones, or a few half-domestic bands, but vast wild 
herds of thousands that every winter rush to secure man's hay 
in the Jackson Hole country, south of the Yellowstone Park. 
No matter how shy they all are in the October hunting season, 
in the bad days of January and February they know that the 
annual armistice is on, and it means hay for tbem instead of 
bullets. They swarm in the level Jackson Valley, around S. 
N. Leek's famous ranch and others, until you can see a square 
mile of solid gray-yellow living elk bodies. Mr. Leek once 
caught about 2,500 head in one photograph, all hungry. They 
crowd around the hay sleds like hungry horses. In their 
greatest hunger they attack the ranchmen's haystacks, just as 
far as the stout and high log fences will permit them to go, and 
many a kind-hearted ranchman has robbed his own haystacks 
to save the lives of starving and despairing elk. 

The Yellowstone Park elk know the annual shooting and 
feeding seasons just as thoroughly as do the men of Jackson 

Once there was a bold and hardy western man who trained 
a bunch of elk to dive from a forty-foot high platform into a 
pool of water. I say that he "trained" them, because it 
really was that. The animals quickly learned that the plunge 
did nothing more than to shock and wet them, and so they 
submitted to the part they had to play, with commendable 
resignation. Some deer would have fought the program every 
step of the way, and soon worn themselves out; but elk, and 
also horses, learn that the diving performance is all in the day's 
work ; which to me seems like good logic. A few persons believe 


that such performances are cruel to the animals concerned, 
but the diving alone is not necessarily so. 

Some deer have far too much curiosity, too much desire to 
know "What is that?" and "What is it aU about?" The 
startled mule deer leaps out, jumps a hundred feet or more at 
a great pace, then foolishly stops and looks back, to gratify his 
curiosity. That is the himter's chance; and that fatal desire 
for accurate information has been an important contributory 
cause to the extermination of the mule deer, or Rocky Moutain 
"black-tail," throughout large areas. In the Yellowstone 
Park the once-wild herds of mule deer have grown so tame 
under thirty years of protection that they completely overrun 
the parade ground, the officers' quarters, and even enter 
porches and kitchens for food. 

Several authors have remarked upon the habits of the 
elephant, llama and guanaco in returning to the same spot; 
and this reminds me of a coincidence in my experience that few 
persons will believe when I relate it. 

In the wild and weird bad-lands of Hell Creek, Montana, 
I once went out deer himting in company with the original 
old hermit wolf-hunter of that region, named Max Sieber. 
With deep feeling Max told me of a remarkable miss that he 
had made the previous year in firing at a fine mule deer buck 
from the top of a small butte; for which I gave him my 

In the course of our morning's tramp through the very 
bad-lands that were once the ancestral home of the giant 
carnivorous dinosaur, yclept Tyrranosaurus rex, we won our 
way to the foot of a long naked butte. Then Sieber said, 
veiy kindly: 

"If you will climb with me up to the top of this butte 
I wifl show you where I missed that big buck." 

It was not an alluring proposition, and I thought things 
that I did not speak. However, being an EasylMark, I said 
cheerfully, / 


"AH right, Max. Go ahead and show me." 

We toiled up to a much-too-distant point on the rounded 
summit, and as Max slowed up and peered down the farther 
side, he pointed and began to speak. 

"He was standing right down there on that little patch of 
bare — why!" he exclaimed. "There's a dee-er there nowl But 
it's a doe! Get down! Get down!" and he crouched. Then 
I woke up and became interested. 

"It is not a doe, Max. I see horns!" — Bang! 

And in another five seconds a jQne buck lay dead on the 
very spot where Sieber's loved and lost buck had stood one 
year previously. But that was only an unbelievable coinci- 
dence, — unbelievable to all save old Max. 

The natural impulse of the mule deer of those bad-lands 
when flushed by a hunter is to run over a ridge, and escape 
over the top; but that is bad judgement and often proves 
fatal. It would be wiser for them to run down, to the bottoms 
of those gashed and tortuous gullies, and escape by zig-zagging 
along the dry stream beds. 

The White-Tailed, or Vh-ginla Deer is the wisest mem- 
ber of the Deer Family in North America, and it will be our 
last big-game species to become extinct. It has reduced self- 
preservation to an exact science. 

In areas of absolute protection it becomes very bold, and 
breeds rapidly. Around our bungalow in the wilds of Putman 
County, New York, the deer come and stamp under our 
windows, tramp through our garden, feed in broad daylight 
with our neighbor's cattle, and jauntily jump across the roads 
almost anywhere. They are beautiful objects, in those wild 
wooded landscapes of lake and hill. 

But in the Adirondacks, what a change! If you are keen 
you may see a few deer in the closed season, but to see in the 
hunting season a buck with good horns you must be a real 
hunter. As a skulker and hider, and a detector of hunters, 
I know no deer equal to the white-tail. In making a safe 


get-away ifhen found, I will back a buck of this species against 
all other deer on earth. He has no fatal curiosity. He will 
not halt and pose for a bullet in order to have a look at you. 
What the startled buck wants is more space and more green 
bushes between the Man and himself. 

The Moose is a weird-looking and uncanny monster, but 
he knows one line of strategy that is startling in its logic. 
Often when a bull moose is fleeing from a long stem chase, — 
always through wooded country, — he will turn aside, swing 
a wide semicircle backward, and then lie down for a rest close 
up to leeward of his trail. There he lies motionless and waits 
for man-made noises, or man scent; and when he senses either 
sign of his pursuer, he silently moves away in a new direction. 

The Antelopes of the Old World. The antelopes, ga- 
zelles, gnus and hartebeests of Africa and Asia almost without 
exception live inr herds, some of them very large. Owing to 
this fact their minds are as little developed, individually, as the 
minds of herd animals generally are. The herd animal, 
relying as it does upon its leaders, and the security that large 
numbers always seem to afford, is a creature of few independent 
ideas. It is not like the deer, elk, sheep or goat that has 
learned things in the hard school of solitude, danger and 
adversity, with no one on whom to rely for safety save itself. 
The basic intelligence of the average herd animal can be sum- 
med up in one line: 

"Post your sentinels, then follow your leader." 

Judging from what hunters in Africa have told me, the 
hunting of most kinds of African antelopes is rather easy and 
quiet long-range rifle work. In comparison with any sheep, 
goat, ibex, markhor and even deer hvmting, it must be rather 
mild sport. A level grassy plain with more or less bushes and 
small trees for use in stalking is a tame scenario beside moun- 
tains and heavy forests, and it seems to me that this sameness 
and tameness of habitat naturally fails to stimulate the mental 
development of the wild habitants. 


In captivity, excepting the keen kongoni, or Coke harte- 
beest, and a few others, the old-world antelopes are mentally 
rather dull animals. They seem to have few thoughts, and 
seldom use what they have; but when attacked or wounded 
the roan antelope is hard to finish In captivity their chief 
exercise consists in rubbing and wearing down their horns on 
the iron bars of their indoor cages, but I must give one of our 
brindled gnus extra credit for the enterprise and thoroughness 
that he displayed in wrecking a powerfully-built water-trough, 
composed of concrete and porcelain. The job was as well 
done as if it had been the work of a big-horn ram showing off. 
But that was the only exhibition of its kind by an African 

The Alleged "Charge" of the Rhinoceros. For half a 
century African hunters wrote of the assaults of African 
rhinoceroses on caravans and hunting parties; and those 
accounts actually established for that animal a reputation for 
pugnacity. Of late years, however, the evil intentions of the 
rhinoceros have been questioned by several hunters. Finally 
Col. Theodore Roosevelt firmly declared his belief that the 
usual supposed "charge" of the rhinoceros is nothing more nor 
less than a movement to draw nearer to the strange man- 
object, on account of naturally poor vision, to see what men 
look like. In fact, I think that most American sportsmen who 
have hunted in Africa now share that view, and credit the 
rhino with very rarely running at a himter or a party in order 
to do damage. 

The Okapi, of Central Africa, inhabits dense jungles of 
arboreal vegetation and they are so expert in detecting the 
presence of man and in escaping from him that thus far, so 
far as we are aware, no white man has ever shot one! The 
native hunters take them only in pitfalls or in nooses. Mr. 
Herbert "Lang, of the American Museum of Natural History, 
diligently hunted the okapi, with native aid, but in spite of 
all his skill in woodcraft the cimning of the okapi was so great, 


and the brushy woods were so great a handicap to him, that 
he never shot even one specimen. 

In skill in self-preservation the African bongo antelope 
seems to be a strong rival of the okapi, but it has been killed 
by a few white men, of whom Captain Kermit Roosevelt is one. 



OUT of the vast mass of the great order of the gnawing 
animals of the world it is possible here to consider only 
half a dozen types. However, these will serve to blaze 
a trail into the midst of the grand army. 

The White-Footed Mouse, or Deer Mouse. On the 
wind-swept divides and coulees of the short-grass region of 
what once were the Buffalo Plains of Montana, only the boldest 
and most resourceful wild mice can survive. There in 1886 we 
found a white-footed mouse species {Peromyscus leucopus), 
nesting in the brain cavities of bleaching buffalo skulls, on 
divides as bare and smooth as golf links. 

In 1902, while hunting mule deer with Laton A. Huffman in 
the wildest and most picturesque bad-lands of central Montana, 
we pitched our tent near the upper waterhole of Hell Creek.* 

For the benefit of our camp-fire, our cook proceeded to 
hitch his rope around a dry cottonwood log and snake it close 
up to our tent. When it was cut up, we found snugly housed 
in the hollow, a nest, made chiefly of feathers, containing five 
white-footed mice. Packed close against the nest was a pint 
and a half of fine, clean seed, like radish seed, from some 
weed of the Pulse Family. While the food-store was being 
examined, and finally deposited in a pile upon the bare ground 
near the tent door, the five mice escaped into the sage-brush. 
Near by stood an old-fashioned buggy, which now becomes a 
valuable piece of stage property 

The next morning, when Mr. Huffman lifted the cushion of 
his buggy-seat, and opened the top of the shallow box under- 

• A few months later, acting upon the inf oimation of our fossil discoveries that we conveyed 
to Professor Henry Fairfield Osbom, an expedition from the American Museum of Natural 
History ushered into the scientific world the now famous Hell Creek fossil bed, and found, about 
five hundied feet from the ashes of our camp-fire, the remains of Tyrannasamus rex. 



neath, the five mice, with their heads close together in a droll- 
looking group, looked out at him in surprise and curiosity, 
and at first without attempting to run away. But very soon 
it became our turn to be surprised. 

We found that these industrious little creatures had gathered 
up every particle of their nest, and every seed of their winter 
store, and carried all of it up into the seat of that buggy! 
The nest had been carefully re-made, and the seed placed 
close by, as before. Considering the number of journeys that 
must have been necessary to carry all those materials over 
the groimd, plus a climb up to the buggy seat, the industry 
and agility of the mice were amazing. 

By way of experiment, we again removed the nest, and 
while the mice once more took to the sage-brush, we collected 
all the seed, and poured it in a pile upon the ground, as before. 
During the following night, those indomitable little creatures 
again carried nest and seed back into the buggy seat, just as 
before! Then we gathered up the entire family of mice with 
their nest and seed, and transported them to New York. 

Now, the reasoning of those wonderful little creatures, in 
the face of new conditions, was perfectly obvious, (i) Finding 
themselves suddenly deprived of their winter home and store 
of food, (2) they scattered and fled for personal safety into the 
tall grass and sage-brush. (3) At night they assembled for a 
council at the ruins of their domicile and granary. (4) They 
decided that they must in all haste find a new home, close by, 
because (5) at all hazards their store of food must be saved, to 
avert starvation. (6) They explored the region aroimd the 
tent and camp-fire, and (7) finally, as a last resort, they ven- 
tured to climb up the thills of the buggy. (8) After a full ex- 
ploration of it they found that the box under the seat afforded 
the best winter shelter they had found. (9) At once they 
decided that it would do, and without a moment's delay or 
hesitation the whole party of five set to work carrying those 
seeds up the thills — a fearsome venture for a mouse — and (10) 
there before daybreak they deposited the entire lot of seeds. 


(ii) Finding that a little time remained, they carried up the 
whole of their nest materials, made up the nest anew, and 
settled down within it for better or for worse. 

Now, this is no effort of our imagination. It is a story of, 
actual facts, all of which can be proven by three competent 
witnesses. How many human beings similarly dispossessed 
and robbed of home and stores, act with the same cool judgment, 
celerity and precision that those five tiny creatures then and 
there displayed? 

The Wood Rat, Pack Rat, or Trading Rat. Although 
I have met this wonderful creature (Neotoma) in various places 
on its native soil, I will quote from another and perfectly 
reliable observer a sample narrative of its startling mental 
traits. At Oak Lodge, east coast of Florida, we lived for a 
time in the home of a pair of pack rats whose eccentric work was 
described to me by Mrs. C. F. Latham, as follows: 

First they carried a lot of watermelon seeds from the ground 
floor upstairs, and hid them under a pillow on a bed. Then they 
took from the kitchen a tablespoonful of cucumber seeds and 
hid them in the pocket of a vest that hung upstairs on a nail. 
Li one night they removed from box number one, eighty five 
pieces of bee-hive furniture, and hid them in another box. On 
the following night they deposited in box number one about 
two quarts of com and oats. 

"Western frontiersmen and others who live in the land of the 
pack rat relate stories innumerable of the absurd but industrious 
doings of these eccentric creatures. The ways of the pack rat 
are so erratic that I find it impossible to figure out by any rules 
known to me the workings of their minds. Strange to say, 
they are not fiends and devils of malice and destruction like the 
brown rat of civilization, and on the whole it seems that the 
destruction of valuable property is not by any means a part 
of their plan. They have a passion for moving things. Their 
vagaries seem to be due chiefly to caprice, and an overwhelming 
desire to keep exceedingly busy. 


I think that the animal psychologists have lost much by so 
completely ignoring these brain-busy animals, and I hope that 
in the future they will receive the attention they deserve. 
Why experiment with stupid and nerveless white rats when pack 
rats are so cheap? 

It was in the wonderland that on the map is labeled "Ari- 
zona" that I met some astonishing evidences of the defensive 
reasoning power of the pack rat. In the Sonoran Desert, where 
for arid reasons the clumps of creosote bushes and salt bushes 
stand from four to six feet apart, the bare level ground between 
clumps affords smooth and easy hunting-grounds for coyotes, 
foxes and badgers, saying nothing of the hawks and owls. 

Now, a burrow in sandy ground is often a poor fortress; and 
the dropping spine-clad joints of the tree choyas long ago sug- 
gested better defenses. In many places we saw the entrance of 
pack rat burrows defended by two bushels of spiny choya 
joints and sticks arranged in a compact mound-like mass. In 
view of the virtue in those deadly spines, any predatory mam- 
mal or bird would hesitate long before tackling a bushel of 
solid joints to dig through it to the mouth of a burrow. 

Did those little animals collect and place those joints because 
of their defensive stickers, — with deliberate forethought and 
intention? Let us see. 

In the grounds of the Desert Botanical Laboratory, in 
November 1907, we found the answer to this question, so 
plainly spread before us that even the dullest man can not ignore 
it, nor the most skeptical dispute it. We found some pack rat 
runways and burrow entrances so elaborately laid out and so 
well defended by choya joints that we may well call the en- 
semble a fortress. On the spot I made a very good map of 
it, which is presented on page 164.* The animal that made it was 
the White-Throated Pack Rat {Neototna alUgula). The for- 
tress consisted of several burrow entrances, the roads leading 
to which were defended by carefully constructed barriers of 
cactus joints full of spines. 

•Jtom "Camp-Fires on Desert and Lava" (Scribner's) page 304, 



The habitants had chosen to locate thdr fortress between 
a large creosote bush and a tree-choya cactus {Opuntia fulgida) 
that grew on bare ground, twelve feet apart. When away from 
home and in danger, the pack rats evidently fled for safety to 
one or the other of those outposts. Between them the four 
entrance holes, then in use, went down into the earth; and there 
were also four abandoned holes. 

Connecting the two outposts, — the creosote bush and the 
choya, — ^with the holes that were in daily use there were some 


Length shown, 16 feet* 

Absndentd holes 

NoIiBS m usee 


POINTS OF THE TREE CHOYA (OpUfltia fulgido) 

much-used runways, as shown on the map; and each side of 
each runway was barricaded throughout its length with spiny 
joints of the choya. A few of the joints were old and dry, but 
the majority were fresh and in full vigor. We estimated that 
about three hundred cactus joints were in use guarding those 
runways; and no coyote or fox of my acquaintance, nor eke a 
dog of any sense, would rashly jump upon that spiny pavement 
to capture a rat. 

Beyond the cactus outpost the main run led straight to the 
sheltering base of a thick mesquite bush and a palo verde that 
grew tightly together. This gave an additional ten feet of 
safe ground, or about twenty-five feet in all. 

On our journey to the Pinacate Mountains, northwestern 


Mexico, we saw about twelve cactus-defended burrows of the 
pack rat, some of them carefully located in the midst of large 
stones that rendered digging by predatory animals almost im- 

The beautiful little Desert Kangaroo Rat {Dipodomys 
deserti) has worked out quite a different system of home pro- 
tection. It inhabits deserts of loose sand and creosote bushes, 
where it digs burrows ianumerable, always located amid the 
roots of the bushes, and each one provided with three or four 
entrances, — or exits, as the occasion may require. Each burrow 
is a bewildering labjrrinth of galleries and tunnels, and in at- 
tempting to lay bare an interior the loose sand caved in, and the 
little sprite that lived there either escaped at a distant point 
or was lost in the shuffle of sand. 

The Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). — ^This beautiful 
and sprightly animal quickly recognizes man's protection and 
friendship, and meets him half way. Go into the woods, sit 
still, make a noise like a nut, and if any grays are there very 
soon you will see them. The friendships between our Park 
visitors and the Park's wild squirrels are one of the interesting 
features of our daily life. We have an excellent picture of Mrs. 
Russell Sage sitting on a park bench with a wild gray squirrel 
in her lap. I have never seen red or fox squirrels that even 
approached the confidence of the gray squirrel in the truce 
with Man, the Destroyer, but no doubt generous treatment 
would produce in the former the gray squirrel's degree of con- 

I never knew an observer of the home life of the gray squirrel 
who was not profoundly impressed by the habit of that animal 
in burying nuts in the autumn, and digging them up for food 
in the winter and spring. From my office window I have seen 
our silver-gray friends come hopping through eight or ten 
inches of snow, carefully select a spot, then quickly bore a hole 
down through the snow to Mother Earth, and emerge with a nut. 
Thousands of people have seen this remarkable performance. 


and I think that the majority of them still ask the question: 
"How does the squirrel know precisely where to dig?" That 
question cannot be answered until we have learned how to read 
the squirrel mind. 

Small city parks easily become overstocked with gray 
squirrels that are not adequately fed, and the result is, — com- 
plaints of "depredations." Of course hungry and half-starved 
squirrels will depredate, — on birds' nests, fruit and gardens. 
My answer to all inquirers for advice in such cases is — feed the 
squirrels, adequately, and constantly, on cracked corn and nuts, 
and send away the surplus squirrels. 

At this time many persons know that the wild animals and 
birds now living upon the earth are here solely because they 
have had sufficient sense to devise ways and means by which 
to survive. The ignorant, the incompetent, the slothful and 
the unlucky ones have passed from earth and joined the grand 
army of fossils. 

Take the case of the Rocky Mountain Pika, or little chief 
"hare," of British Columbia and elsewhere. It is not a hare 
at all, and it is so queer that it occupies a family all alone. 
I am now concerning myself with Ochotona princeps, of the 
Canadian Rockies. It is very small and weak, but by its wits 
it lives in a country reeking with hungry bears, wolverines and 
martens. The pika is so small and so weak that in the open 
he could not possibly dig down below the grizzly bear's ability 
to dig. 

And what does he do to save himself, and insure the sur- 
vival of the fittest? 

He burrows far down in the slide-rock that falls from the 
cliffs, where he is protected by a great bed of broken stone so 
thick that no predatory animal can dig through it and catch him. 
There in those awful solitudes, enlivened only by the crack and 
rattle of falling slide-rock, the harsh cry of Clark's nut-cracker 
and the whistling wind sweeping over the storm-threshed 
summits and through the stunted cedar, the pika chooses to 

J. Alden Lorint' and his wild pets 



make his home. Over the slide-rock that protects him, the 
snows of the long and dreary winter pile up from six to ten feet 
deep, and lie unbroken for months. And how does the pika 

When he is awake, he lives on hay, of his own making! 

In September and October, and up to the arrival of the en- 
veloping snow, he cuts plants of certain kinds to his liking, he 
places them in little piles atop of rocks or fallen logs where the 
sun wiU strike them, and he leaves them there until they dry 
sufficiently to be stored without mildewing. Mr. Charles L. 
Smith declared that the pikas know enough to change their 
little hay piles as the day wears on, from shade to sunlight. 
The plants to be made into hay are cut at the edge of the slide- 
rock, usually about a foot in length, and are carried in and 
placed on flat-topped rocks around the mouth of the burrow. 
The stems are laid together with fair evenness, and from start to 
finish the ha3rmaking of the pika is conducted with admirable 
system and precision. When we saw and examined half a 
dozen of those curing hay piles, we felt inclined to take off our 
hats to the thinking mind of that small animal which was 
making a perfectly successful struggle to hold its own against the 
winter rigors of the summits, and at the same time escape 
from its enemies. 

The common, eveiy-day Cotton-Tail Rabbit (Lepus syl- 
vaticus) is not credited by anyone with being as wise as a fox, 
but that is due to our own careless habits of thought. It has 
been man's way, ever since the days of the Cavemen, to under- 
rate all wild animals except himself. We are not going to cite 
a long line of individual instances to exhibit the mental processes 
or the natural wisdom of the rabbit. All we need do is to point 
to its success in maintaining its existence in spite of the enemies 
arrayed against it. 

Take the state of Pennsylvania, and consider this list of the 
rabbit's mortal enemies: 

450,000 well-armed men and boys, regularly licensed and 


diligently gunning throughout six weeks of the year, and 
actually killing each year about 3,500,000 rabbits! 

200,000 farmers hunting on their own farms, without 

Predatory animals, such as dogs, cats, skunks, foxes and 

Predatory birds: hawks, eagles and owls. 

Destructive elements: forest fires, rain, snow and sleet. 

Now, is it not a wonder that any rabbits remain alive in 
Pennsylvania? But they are there. They refuse to be exter- 
minated. Half of them annually outwit all their enemies — 
smart as they are; they avoid death by hunger and cold, and 
they go on breeding in defiance of wild men, beasts and birds. 
Is it not wonderful — ^the mentality of the gray rabbit? Again 
we say — the wild animal must think or die. 

In recognizing man's protection and friendship, the rabbit 
is as quick on the draw as the gray squirrel. In our Zoological 
Park where we constantly kill hunting cats in order that our 
little wild neighbors, the rabbits, squirrels and chipmimks may 
live, the rabbits live literally in our midst. They hang around 
the Administration Building, rear and front, as if they owned 
it; and one evening at sunset I came near stepping out upon a 
pair that were roosting on the official door-mat on the porch. 
There are times when they seem annoyed by the passage of 
automobiles over the service road. 

To keep hungry rabbits from barking your young apple 
trees in midwinter, spend a dollar or two in buying two or three 
bushels of com expressly for them. 

The sentry system of the Prairie-" Dog " in guarding 
"towns" is very nearly perfect. A warning chatter quickly sends 
every "dog" scurrying to the mouth of its hole, ready for the 
dive to safety far below. No ! the prairie-" dog," rattlesnake and 
burrowing owl emphatically do NOT dwell together in peace 
and harmony in the burrow of the "dog." The rodent hates 
both these interloping enemies, and carefully avoids them. 


The pocket gopher does his migrating and prospecting at 
night, when his enemies are asleep. The gray squirrel builds 
for itself a summer nest of leaves. At the real beginning of 
winter the prairie-"dog" tightly plugs up with moist earth the 
mouth of his burrow; and he packs it with his nose. The 
round-tailed muskrat of Florida {Neofiber alleni) builds a little 
platform over the water of the marsh in which it lives, on which 
it builds its nest high and dry. The Hudsonian red squirrel 
will bark and scold at a human intruder for half an hour. 

In Chapter IV I have already accorded the beaver a place 
with the most intelligent animals of the world. The books 
that have been written concerning that species have been amply 
justified. It is, however, impossible to refuse this important 
animal a place in any chapter devoted to the mental traits of 
rodents, and I deem it fitting to record here our latest experi- 
ence with this remarkable species. 

Our Last Beaver Experiment. In the autumn of 192 1 
we emptied and cleaned out our Beaver Pond. The old house 
originally built by the beavers in the centre of the pond, was 
for sanitary reasons entirely removed. Work on the pond 
was not finished until about October 25; and the beavers had 
no house. 

It seemed to me a physical impossibility for the beavers 
to begin a new house at that late date and unassisted finish it by 
the beginning of winter. One beaver had escaped, and for the 
remaining three such a task would be beyond their powers. I 
decided to give them a helping hand, provided they would 
accept it, by providing them with a wooden house, which they 
might if they chose, entirely surround and snugly cover ^th 
mud and sticks. 

But would they accept it in a grateful spirit, and utilize it? 
One cannot always tell what a wild animal will do. 

With loose earth a low island with a flat top was built to 
carry the house. Its top was six inches above high-water mark, 
and (that would, if accepted) be the floor of the permanent 


house. A good, practicable tunnel was built to an under- 
water entrance. 

Upon that our men set a square, bottomless house of wood, 
with walls two feet high, and a low roof sloping four ways. 
Over all this the men piled in a neat mound a lot of tree branches 
of kinds suitable for beaver food; and with that we left the situa- 
tion up to the beavers. The finish of our work was made on 
October 28. 

For a week there were no developments. The beavers made 
no sign of approval or disapproval. And then things began to 
happen. On November 5 we saw a beaver carrpng a small 
green branch into the house for bedding! That meant that our 
offering was going to be accepted. 

The subsequent chronology of that beaver house is as 

Nov. 10. The beavers pulled all our brush away from the 
house, back to a distance of six or seven feet. The house stood 
fully exposed. 

Nov. II. They began to pile up mud and sticks against 
the base of the south wall. 

Nov. 15. Mud-building to cover the house was in full pro- 

Nov. 17. Much of our brush had been placed in the stock 
of food wood being stored for winter use in the pond west of 
the house. 

Nov. 29. The outside of the house was completely covered 
up to the edges of the roof. The beavers were working fast 
and hard. No freezing weather yet. 

Dec. 15. The roof was not yet covered. Ice had formed on 
the pond, and house-building operations were at an end until 
the spring of 1922. 



IN compaxison with mammalian mentality, the avian mind 
is much more elementary and primitive. It is as far be- 
hind the average of the mammals as the minds of fishes 
are inferior to those of reptiles. 

Instinct Prominent in Birds. The average bird is 
more a creature of instinct than of reason. Primarily it lives 
and moves by and through the knowledge that it has inherited, 
rather than by the observations it has made and the things it 
has thought out in its own head. 

But let it not for one moment be supposed that the in- 
stinctive knowledge of the bird is of a mental quality inferior 
to that of the mammal. The difference is in kind only, not in 
degree. As a factor in self-preservation the keen and correct 
reasoning of the farm-land fox is in no sense superior to the 
wonderful instinct and prescience of the golden plover that, on 
a certain calendar day, or week, bids farewell to its comfortable 
breeding-grounds in the cold north beyond the arctic circle, 
rises high in the air and laimches forth on its long and perilous 
migration flight of 8,000 miles to its winter resort in Argentina. 

The Migrations of Birds. Volumes have been written 
on the migrations of birds. The subject is vast, and inexhaust- 
able. It is peihaps the most wonderful of all the manifestations 
of avian intelligence. It is of interest chiefly to the birds of 
the temperate zone, whose summer homes and food supplies 
are for four months of the year buried under a mantle of snow 
and ice. All but a corporal's guard of the birds of the United 
States and Canada must go south every winter or perish from 
starvation and cold. It is a case of migrate or die. Many of 




the birds do not mind the cold of the northern winter — if it is 
dry; and if they could he fed in winter, many of them would 
remain with us throughout the year. 

Consider the migratory habits of our own home favorites, 

>^i^tiC /' 













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V Vrom "Bird M 

\W. W. Cooke, 

AgriculUiret 191. 



U. S. 

'the / 
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Depl. "f y 




and see what they reveal. After all else has been said, bird 
migration is the one unfathomable wonder of the avian world. 
Really, we know of it but little more than we know of the songs 
of the morning stars. We have learned when the birds start; 
we know that many of them fly far above the earth; we know 
where some of them land, and the bird calendars show approx- 
imately when they will return. And is not that really about 
aU that we do know? 

What courage it must take, to start on the long, tiresome 
and dangerous journey! How do they know where to go, far 
into the heart of the South, to find rest, food and security? 
When and where do they stop on the way to feed? Vast areas 
are passed over without alighting; for many species never are 
seen in mid career. Why is it that the golden plover feels that 
it is worth while to fly from the arctic coast to Argentina? 

Let any man — ^if one there be — ^who is not profoundly im- 
pressed by the combined instinct and the reasoning of migratory 
birds do himself the favor to procure and study the 47-page 
pamphlet by Dr. Wells W. Cooke, of the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture, entitled "Bird Migration." I wish I could repro- 
duce it entire; but since that is impossible, here are a few facts 
and figures from it. 

The Bobolink summers in the northern United States and 
southern Canada, and winters in Paraguay, making 5000 miles 
of travel each way. 

The Scarlet Tanager summers in the northeastern quarter 
of the United States and winters in Colombia, Equador and 
northern Peru, a limit to limit flight of 3,880 miles. 

'The Golden Plover (Charadrius dominicus). — "In fall it 
flies over the ocean from Novia Scotia to South America, 2,400 
miles — the longest known flight of any bird. In spring it returns 
by way of the Mississippi Valley. Thus the migration routes 
form an enormous ellipse, with a minor axis of 2,000 miles and 
a major axis stretchmg 8,oco miles from arctic America to 
Argentina." (Cooke.) 


The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea), is "the champion 
long-distance migrant of the world. It breeds as far north as 
it can find land on which to build its nest, and winters as far 
south as there is open water to furnish it food. The extreme 
summer and winter homes are ii,ooo miles apart, or a yearly 
rotmd trip of 22,000 miles." (Cooke.) 

By what do migrating birds guide their courses high m air 
on a pitch-dark night, — their busy time for flying? Do they, 
too, know about the mariner's Southern Cross, and steer by 
it on starlit nights? Equally strange things have happened. 

The regular semi-annual migrations of birds may fairly be 
regarded as the high-water mark of instinct so profound and 
far-reaching that it deserves to rank as high as reason. To me 
it is one of the most marvelous things in Nature's Book of 
Wonders. I never see a humming-bird poised over a floral tube 
of a trumpet creeper without pausing, in wonder that is per- 
petual, and asking the eternal question: "Frail and delicate 
feathered sprite, that any storm-gust might dash to earth and 
destroy, and that any enemy might crush, how do you make your 
long and perilous journeys unstarved and unkilled? Is it- 
because you bear a charmed life? What is the unsolved mys- 
tery of your tiny existence in this rough and cruel world?" 

We understand well enough the foundation principles of 
mammalian and avian life, and existence under adverse cir- 
cumstances. The mammal is tied to his environment. He 
cannot go far from the drcumpolar regions of his home. A bear 
chained to a stake is emblematic of the universal handicap on 
mammalian life. Survive or perish, the average land-going 
quadruped must stay put, and make the best of the home in 
which he is bom. If he attempts to migrate fast and far, he is 
reasonably certain to get into grave danger, and lose his life. 

The bird, however, is a free moral agent. If the purple 
grackle does not like the sunflower seeds in my garden, lo! he 
is up and away across the Sound to Oyster Bay, Long Island, 
where his luck may be better. Failing there, he gives himself 


a transfer to Wilmington, or Richmond, via his own Atlantic 
coast line. 

The wonderful migratory instincts of birds have been devel- 
oped and intensified through countless generations by the imper- 
ative need for instinctive guidance, and the comparatively small 
temptation to inductive reasoning based on known facts. 
Evidently the bird is emboldened to migrate by the comfortable 
belief that somewhere the world contains food and warmth 
to its liking, and that if it flies fast enough and far enough 
it will find it. 

As a weather prophet, the prescience of the bird is strictly 
limited. The warm spells of late February deceive the birds 
just as they do the flowers of the peach tree and thfe apple. 
Often the bluebirds and robins migrate northward too early, 
encounter blizzards, and perish in large numbers from snow, 
sleet, cold and hunger. 

The Homing Sense of Birds. We can go no farther 
than to say that while the homing instinct of certain species 
of birds is quite well known, the mental process by which it 
functions is practically unknown. The direction instinct of 
the homing pigeon is marvelous, but we know that that instinct 
does not leap full-fledged from the nest. The homer needs 
assistance and training. When it is about three months old, 
it is taken in a basket to a point a mile distant from its home and 
liberated. If it makes good in returning to the home loft, 
the distances are increased by easy stages — two, three, five, 
ten, twenty, thirty, fifty and seventy-five miles usually being 
flown before the bird is sent as far as 100 miles. The official 
long-distance record for a homing pigeon is 1689.44 miles, held 
by an American bird. 

The homing instinct, or sense, is present in some mammals, 
but it is by no means so phenomenal as in some species of birds. 
In mammals it is individual rather than species-wide. Indi- 
vidual horses, dogs and cats have done wonderful things under 
the propulsion of the homing instinct, but that instinct is by 


no means general throughout those species. Among wild 
animals, exhibitions of the home-finding instinct are rare, but 
the annals of the Zoological Park contain one amusing record. 

For emergency reasons, a dozen fallow deer once were 
quartered in our Bison range, behind a fence only sixty-six 
inches high. Presently they leaped out to freedom, disappeared 
in the thick northern forests of the Bronx, and we charged them 
up to profit and loss. But those deer soon found that life 
outside our domain was not the dream of paradise that they 
had supposed. After about a week of wandering through a 
cold, unsympathetic and oatless world those were sadder and 
wiser deer, and one night they all returned and joyously and 
thankfully jumped back into their range, where they were 
happy ever after. 

Recognition of Sanctuary Protection. In this field of 
precise observation and reasoning, most birds, — ^if not indeed 
all of them, — are quick in discernment and accurate in deduc- 
tion. The great gauntlet of guns has taught the birds of the 
United States and Canada to recognize the difference between 
areas of shooting and no shooting. Dull indeed is the bird 
mind that does not know enough to return to the feeding-ground 
in which it has been safe from attack. The wild geese and ducks 
are very keen about sanctuary waters, and no protected pond 
or river is too small to command attention. Our own little 
Lake Agassiz, in the New York Zoological Park, each year is 
the resort of hundreds of mallards and black ducks. And each 
year a number of absolutely wild wood ducks breed there and 
in spite of all dangers rear their young. Our wild-fowl pond, 
surrounded by various installations for birds, several times 
has been honored by visiting delegations of wild geese, seven 
of which were caught in 1902 for exhibition. 

The most astounding example of avian recognition of pro- 
tection and human friendship is the spectacle of Mr. Jack 
Miner's wild goose sanctuary at Kingsville, Ontario, not fai 
from Detroit. With his tile works on one side and his home 


on the other, he scooped out between them clay for his factory 
and made a small pond. With deliberate and praiseworthy 
intention Mr. Miner planted there a little flock of pinioned wild 
Canada geese, as a notice of sanctuary and an invitation to 
wild flocks to come down for food, rest and good society. 

Very slowly at first the wild geese began to come; but finally 
the word was passed along the line from Hudson Bay to Curri- 
tuck Sound that Miner's roadhouse was a good place at which 
to stop. Year by year the wild geese came, and saw, and were 
conquered. So many thousands came that presently Mr. Miner 
grew tired of spending out of his own pociet more than $700 
a year for goose com; and then the Canadian government most 
commendably assumed the burden, and made Mr. Miner's 
farm a national bird preserve.* 

The annals of wild life protection literature contain many 
records and illustrations of the remarkable quickness and thor- 
oughness of sanctuary recognition by birds. On the other hand 
I feel greatly annoyed by the failure of waterfowl to reason 
equally well regarding the decoys of duck-shooters. They fail 
to learn, either by experience or hearsay, that small flocks of 
ducks sitting motionless near a shore are loaded, and liable 
to go off. They fail to learn that it is most wise to settle 
well outside such flocks of alleged ducks, and that it is a fatal 
mistake to plump down on the top of a motionless bunch. 

Protective Association of Wasps and Caciques. The 

colonizing caciques, of South America, representing four 
genera, are very solicitous of the safety of their colonies. In 
numerous cases, these colonies are found in association with 
wasps, one or more nests invariably being found near the nests 
of the birds. It is natural to infer that this strange association 
is due to the initiative of the birds. When monkeys attack the 
birds, the birds need the stinging insects. 

•Mr. Miner is writing his wild-goose story into a book: and the story is worth iti 


As usual in the study of wild creatures, the first thing that 
we encounter in the wild bird is 

Temperament. On this hangs the success or failure of 
a species in association with man. Temperament in the most 
intellectual wild creatures is just as evident and negotiable to 
the human eye as colors are in fur or feathers. 

A vastly preponderating number of bird species are of 
sanguine temperament; and it is this fact alone that renders 
it possible for us to exhibit continuously from 700 to 800 species 
of birds. Sensible behavior in captivity is the one conspicuous 
trait of character in which birds mentally and physically are 
far better balanced than mammals. But few birds are foolishly 
nervous or hysterical, and when once settled down the great 
majority of them are sanguine and philosophical. Birds of a 
great many species can be caught in an adult state and settled 
down in captivity without difficulty; whereas all save a few 
species of mammals, when captured as adults, are irrecon- 
cilable fighters and many of them die far too quickly. In a 
well-regulated zoological park nearly every animal that has 
been caught when adult is a failure and a nuisance. 

To name the species of birds that can be caught fully grown 
and settled down for exhibition purposes, would create a list 
of formidable length. It is indeed fortunate for us that this 
is true; for the rearing of nestlings is a tedious task. 

A conspicuous exception to the rule of philosophic sedateness 
in newly caught birds is the loon, or great northern diver. 
That bird is so exceedingly nervous and foolish, and so persistent 
in its evil ways, that never once have we succeeded in inducing 
a loon to settle down on exhibition and be good. When caught 
and placed in our kind of captivity, the loon goes daft. It 
dives and dives, and swims imder water until it is completely 
exhausted; it loses its appetite, and very soon dies. Of course 
if one had a whole marine biological station to place at the 
disposal of the foolish loon, it might get on. 

There are other odd exceptions to the rule of normal bird 


conduct. Some of our upland game birds, particularly the 
Franklin grouse and ptarmigan of the Rocky Moimtains, dis- 
play real mental deficiencies in the very necessary business of 

Wildness and Tameness of the RuSed Grouse. The 
ruffed grouse is one of the most difficult of all North American 
game birds to keep in captivity. This fact is due largely, 
though not entirely, to the nervous and often hysterical tem- 
perament of this species. Some birds will within a reasonable 
time quiet down and accept captivity, but others throughout 
long periods, — or forever, — remain wild as hawks, and per- 
petually try to dash themselves to pieces against the Wire of 
their enclosures. Prof. A. A. Allen of Cornell once kept a bird 
for an entire year, only to find it at the end of that time hope- 
lessly wild; so he gave^the bird its liberty. 

However, in this species there are numerous exceptions- 
Some wing-tipped birds have calmed down and accepted 
captivity gracefully and sensibly, and a few of the cases of this 
kind have been remarkable. The most astonishing cases, 
however, have been of the tameness of free wild birds, in the 
Catskills, and also near the city of Schenectady. A great many 
perfectly truthful stories have been published of wild birds 
that actually sought close acquaintance with people, and took 
food from their hands. 

We have been asked to account for those strange mani- 
festations, but it is impossible to do so. It seems that in some 
manner, certain grouse individuals learned that Man is not 
always a killer and a dangerous animal, and so those birds ac- 
cepted him as a friend, — ^until the killers came along and vio- 
lated the sanctuary status. 

It is both necessary, and highly desirable for the increase 
of species, that all wild birds should fly promptly, rapidly and 
far from the presence of Man, the Arch Enemy of Wild Life. 
The species that persistently neglects to do so, or is unable, soon 
is utterly destroyed. The great auk species was massacred and 


extirpated on Funk Island because it could not get away from 
its sordid enemies who destroyed it for a paltry supply of oil. 

The Fool Hen and Its Folly. In our own country there 
exists a grouse species so foolish in its mind, and so destitute of 
the most ordinary instinct of self-preservation that it has been 
known for many years as "the Fool Hen." Definitely, it is 
the Franklin Grouse (Conachites franklini), and its home is in 
the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This famous and pitiable 
victim of misplaced confidence will sit only eight feet up on a 
jack pine limb, beside a well travelled road, while Mack Norboe 
dismounts, finds a suitable stick, and knocks the foolish bird 
dead from its perch. I have seen these birds sit still and 
patiently wait for their heads to be shot off, one by one, with 
a .22 calibre revolver when all points of the compass were 
open for their escape. 

AU this, however, must be set down as an imusual and phe- 
nomenal absence of the most natural instinct of self-protection. 
The pinnated grouse, sage grouse. Bob White quail and ptarmi- 
gan exercise but little keen reason in self-protection. They 
are easy marks, — the joy of the pot-hunter and the delight 
of the duffer "sportsman." 

Dullness of Instinct in Grouse and Quail. The pin- 
nated grouse, which in Iowa and the Dakotas positively is a 
migratory bird, does know enough to fly high when it is mi- 
grating, but seemingly this species and the sage grouse never 
will grow wise enough to save themselves from hunters when 
on their feeding grounds. In detecting the presence of their 
arch enemy they are hopelessly dull; and they are slow in taking 

The quail is a very good hider, but a migbty poor flyer. 
When a covey is flushed by a collection of dogs and armed men, 
the lightning-quick and explosive get-away is aU right; but the 
unshot birds do not fly half far enough! Instead of bowling 
away for two or three miles and getting clear out of the danger 
zone and hiding in the nearest timber, what do they do? They 


foolishly stop on the other side of the field, or in the next acre of 
brush, in full view of the hunters and dogs, who find it great 
fun tp hustle after them and in fifteen minutes put them up 
again. Thus it is easy for a hunting party to "follow up" a 
covey until the last bird of it has been bagged. 

Just before the five-year close season on quail went into 
effect in Iowa, this incident occurred: 

On a farm of four hundred acres in the southern part of 
the state, two gunners killed so nearly up to their bag limit of 
fifty birds per day that in ten days they went away with 400 
quail. The foolish birds obstinately refused to leave the 
farm which had been their home and shelter. Day after day 
the chase with dogs and men, and the fusillade of shots, went 
briskly on. As a matter of fact, that outfit easily could have 
gone on until every quail on that farm had fallen. 

It is indeed strange that the very bird which practices such 
fine and successful strategy in leading an intruder away from 
its helpless young, by plajdng wounded, should fail so seriously 
when before the guns. A hunted quail covey should learn to 
post a sentry to watch for danger and give the alarm in time for 
a safe flight. 

But I know one quail species that is a glorious exception. 
It is Gambel's quail, of southern Arizona. I saw a good wing 
shot, Mr. John M. Phillips, hunt that quail (without dogs) 
until he was hot and red, and come in with more wrath than 
birds. He said, with an injured air: 

"The little beggars won't rise! I don't want to shoot them 
on the ground, and the minute they rise above the creosote 
bushes tiiey drop right down into them again, and go on run- 

It was even so. They simply will not rise and fly away, as 
Bob White does, giving the sportsmen a chance to kill them, 
but when forced to fly up clear of the bushes they at once drop 
back again.* 

*A very few quail-ldllers of the East who oppose long close seasons contend that quail coveys 
"breed better" when they are shot to pieces every year and "scattered," but we observed that 
the quail oi the Sonoran Desert managed to survive and breed and perpetuate themselves 
numerously without the benevolent cooperation of the "pump-gun" and the automatic shotgun, 


"While the study of avian mentality is a difl&cult undertaking, 
this is no excuse for the fact that up to this date (1922) that 
field of endeavor has been only scratched on its surface. The 
birds of the world are by no means so destitute of ideas and 
inventions that they merit almost universal neglect. Because 
of the suggestions they contain we will point out a few prominent 
mental traits in birds, chosen at random. 

At the same time, let us all beware of seeing too much, and 
chary of recording scientific hallucinations. It is better to see 
nothing than to see many things that are not true! In ten 
octavo pages that particular rock can split wide open the best 
reputation ever grown. 

Bird Architecture. The widom of birds in the selection 
of nesting sites, the designing of the best nest for their respective 
wants, and finally the construction of them, indicate instinct, 
reasoning power and mechanical skill of a high order. The 
range from the wonderful woven homes of the weaver bird and 
the Baltimore oriole down to the bare and nestless incubating 
spot of the penguin is so great that nothing less than a volume 
can furnish space in which to set it forth. But let us at least 
take a brief glance at a wide range of home-building activities 
by birds. 

The orioles, caciques and weavers weave wonderful homes 
of fibrous material, often in populous communities. 

The bower birds erect remarkable bowers, as playhouses. 

The brush turkey scratches together a huge mound of sticks 
and leaves, four feet by ten or twelve wide at the base. 

The vireo and many others turn out beautiful cUp-like nests. 

The hummingbird builds with the solidity and tenacity of 
the wasp. 

The swallow is a wonderful modeler with mud. 

The guacharo builds a solid nest like a cheese with a concave 

The auklet, the puffin and the kingfishers burrow into the 
friendly and solid earth. 

H < 


The eider duck plucks from its own breast the softest of 
feather linings for its nest. 

The grebe thoughtfully keeps its nest above high-water 
mark by building on a floating island. 

The murre and the guillemot do their best to escape their 
enemies of the land by building high upon inaccessible rock 

The woodpecker trusts no living species save his own. and 
drills high up into a hollow tree-trunk for his home. 

The cactus wren and crissal thrasher build in the geographi- 
cal centres of tree choyas, so protected by 500,000 spines that 
no hawk or owl can reach them. 

This catalogue could be extended to a great length; but why 
pile evidence upon evidence! 

It cannot be correct to assume that the nesting activities 
of birds are based upon instinct alone. That theory would be 
untenable. New conditions call for independent thought, and 
originality of treatment. If the ancestral plans and specifica- 
tions could not be varied, then every bird would have to build 
a nest just "such as mother used to make," or have no brood. 

All bird students know full well how easily the robin, the 
wren, the hawk and the owl change locations and materials to 
meet new and strange conditions. A robin has been known 
to build on the running-board of a switch-engine in a freight 
yard, and another robin built on the frame of the iron gate of an 
elephant yard. A wren will build in a tin can, a piece of drain 
tile, a lantern, a bird house or a coat pocket, just as blithely as 
its grandmother built in a grape arbor over a kitchen door. 
All this is the haU mark of New Thought. 

Whenever children go afield in bird country, they are con- 
stantly on the alert for fresh discoveries and surprises in bird 
architecture. Interest in the nest-building ingenuity and 
mechanical skill of birds is perpetual. The variety is almost 
endless. Dull indeed is the mind to which a cunningly con- 
trived nest does not appeal. Tell the boys that it is all right 


to collect abandoned nests, but the taJdng of eggs and occupied 
nests is unlawful and wicked. 

The Play-House of the Bower Bh-d. Years ago we 
read of the wonderful playhouses constructed by the bower 
birds of Australia and New Guinea, but nothing ever brought 
home to us this remarkable manifestation of bird thought so 
closely as did the sight of our own satin bower bird busily 
at work on his own bower. He was quartered in the great 
indoor flying cage of our largest bird house, and supplied with 
hard grass stems of the right sort for bower-making. 

With those materials, scattered over the sand floor, the bird 
built his bower by taking each stem in his beak, holding it very 
firmly and then with a strong sidewise and downward thrust 
sticking it upright in the sand, to stand and to point "just 
exactly so." The finished bower was a Gothic tunnel with walls 
of grass stems, about eighteen inches long and a foot high. In 
making it the male bird wrought as busily as a child building 
a playhouse of blocks. Our bird would pick up pieces of blue 
yarn that had been placed in his cage to test his color sense, but 
never red, — which color seemed to displease him. As the bird 
worked quietly yet diligently, one could not help longing to 
know what thoughts were at work in that busy little brain. 

The most elaborate of all the bower bird play-houses is that 
constructed by the gardener bower bird, which is thus described 
by Pycraft in his "History of Birds": 

"This species builds at the foot of a small tree a kind of hut 
or cabin, some two feet in height, roofed with orchid stems that 
slope to the ground, regularly radiating from the central sup- 
port, which is covered with a conical mass of moss sheltering a 
gallery round it. One side of this hut is left open, and in front 
of it is arranged a bed of verdant moss, bedecked with blossoms 
and berries of the brightest color. As the ornaments wither 
they are removed to a heap behind the hut and replaced by 
others that are fresh. The hut is circular and some three feet in 
diameter, and the mossy lawn in front of it is nearly twice that 


expanse. Each hut and garden is believed to be the work of 
a single pair of birds. The use of the hut, it appears, is solely 
to serve the purpose of a playing-ground, or as a place wherein 
to pay court to the female, since it, like the bowers bxiilt by its 
near relatives, are built long before the nest is begun, this, by 
the way, being placed in a tree." 

.Most Birds Fear Man. With the exception of those that 
have been reared in captivity, nearly aU species of wild bii;ds, 
either in captivity or out of it, fear the touch of man, and shrink 
from him. >The birds of the lawn, the orchard and the farm are 
always suspicious, always on the defensive. But of course there 
are exceptions, A naturalist like J. Alden Loring can by patient 
effort win the confidence of a chickadee, or a phoebe bird, and 
bring it literally to his finger. These exceptions, however, are 
rare, but they show conclusively that wild birds can be educated 
into new ideas. 

The shrinking of wild birds from the hand of man is almost 
as pronounced in captivity as it is in the wilderness, and this 
fact renders psychological experiments with birds extremely 
difficult. It is really strange that the parrots and cockatoos 
all should take kindly to man, trust him and even like him, 
while nearly all other birds persistently fly, or run, or swim or 
dive away from him. A bird keeper may keep for twenty 
years, feeding daily, but his hawks, owls and eagles, the perchers, 
waders, swimmers and upland game birds all fly from him in 
nervous fear whenever he attempts to handle them. The ex- 
ceptions to this, rule, out of the 20,000 species of the birds of 
the .world, are few. 

Wild Birds that Voluntarily Associate with Man. The 
species that will do so are not numerous, and I will confine 
myself to some of those that I have seen. 

The Indian adjutant, the mynah, hoopoe, vulture, robin, 
phoebe bird, bluebird, swallow, bam owl, flicker, oriole, jay, 
magpie, crow, purple grackle, starling, stork, wood pigeon, 
Canada goose, mallard, pintail, bob white and a few other species 


have accepted man at his face value and endeavored to estab- 
lish with him a modus vivendi. The mallard and the graylag 
goose are the ancestors of our domestic ducks and geese. The 
jungle fowls have given us the domestic chickens. The wild 
turkey, the pheasants, the guinea fowl, the ostrich, the emu and 
the peacock we possess in domestication unchanged. 

Caged Wild Birds Quickly Appreciate Sanctuary. Mr. 
Crandall reports that in the Zoological Park there have been 
many instances of the voluntary return to their cages of wild 
birds that have escaped from them. The following instances 
are cited, out of many that are remembered: 

A wild hermit thrush, only two weeks in captivity, escaped 
from an outdoor cage. But he refused to leave the vicinity 
of his new home, and permanent food supply. He lingered 
around for two or three days, and finally a wise keeper opened 
the cage door when he was near it, and at once he went in. 

A magpie escaped from an outside cage, and for a week he 
lingered around it unwilling to leave its vicinity. At last the 
other birds of the cage were removed, the door was left open, 
and the magpie at once went back home. 

Bird Memory and Talk. Birds have few ways and 
means by which to reveal their powers of memory. The best 
exhibits are made by the talking parrots and cockatoos. The 
feats of some of these birds, both in memory and expression, are 
really wonderful. The startling aptness with which some parrots 
apply the language they possess often is quite uncanny. Con- 
cerning "sound mimicry" and the efforts of memory on which 
they are based, Mr. Lee S. Crandall, Curator of Birds, has con- 
tributed the following statement of his observations: 

"Many birds, including practically aU members of the 
parrot tribe, many of the crows and jays, as well as mjmas and 
starlings, learn to repeat sounds, words and sentences. Ability 
varies with both species and individuals. Certain species show 
greater aptitude as a whole than other species, while there is a 
great difference between individuals of the same species. 


" Gray parrots are generally considered the most intelligent 
of their tribe, and are especially apt at imitating sounds, such 
as running water, whistles, etc. I have one at home which 
always answers a knock with 'Come in.' Often he furnishes 
the knock himself by pounding the perch with his bill, following 
it with 'Come in.' Amazon parrots are especially good at tunes, 
some specimens being able to whistle complicated airs and 
sometimes sing several verses in a high, clear voice. Both grays 
and Amazons often talk with great fluency, vocabularies having 
been reported of as many as one hundred words. Often there 
seems to be intelligent association of certain acts or conditions 
with corresponding sentences, these sometimes occurring with 
singular patness. 

"Hill mynahs, of the genus Eulabes, often talk as well as, 
parrots. The common introduced European starling often says 
a few words quite clearly. I once knew a long-tailed glossy 
starling {Lamprotornis caudatus) which shared an aviary with 
an accomplished albino jackdaw. The starling had acquired 
much of the jackdaw's repertoire, and the 'conversations' car- 
ried on between the two birds were most amusing." 

A raven in the Zoological Park says "Arthur," "Shut up," 
"All out" and "Now look what's here" as perfectly as any 

Listed in the order of their ability to learn and remember 
talk, the important talking birds are as follows: African gray 
parrot, yellow-headed Amazon, other Amazons, the hill mynahs, 
the cockatoos, the macaws, and the various others previously 

It is safe to assert that all migratory birds display excellent 
powers of memory, chiefly by returning to their favorite haxmts 
after long absences. 

Recognition of Persons. Mr. Crandall says there can 
be no doubt of the ability of most birds to recognize individual 
persons. This is seen in the smallest species as well as in the 
largest. He once saw a bullfinch in the last stages of pneumonia 


and almost comatose, show an instant reaction to the presence 
of an owner it had not seen in weeks. Many birds form dislikes 
for individual persons. This is especially noticeable in the 
parrot tribe. A large male South American condor was friendly 
enough with two of his keepers but would instantly attack any 
other keeper or other person entering his enclosure, whether 
wearing the uniform or not. With his two approved keepers 
he was gentleness itself. 

Parasitic Nesting Habits. In the bird world there are a 
few species whose members are determined to get something 
for nothing, and to avoid all labor in the rearing of their off- 
spring. This bad habit is known of the Old World cuckoos, the 
American cow-birds, the South American rice grackle (Cassidix), 
and suspected in the pin-tail whydah (Vidua serena). It 
seems to reach its highest point in the cuckoos. It is believed 
that individuals lay their eggs only in the nests of species whose 
eggs resemble their own. Apparently much skill and intelli- 
gence is required for introducing parasitic eggs at the most 
favorable moment. This is equally true of other parasites. 

Curator Crandall has taken several eggs and young of the 
rice birds from nests of two species of giant caciques in Costa 
Rica, but never saw an adult Cassidix. It is considered a very 
rare species, but probably is more sly than scarce. Young 
cuckoos eject unwelcome nestlings shortly after hatching. 

Daily contact with a large and varied collection of birds 
great and small, gathered from every section of the habitable 
regions of the"earth, naturally produces in time a long series of 
interesting cases of intelligence and behavior. Out of our total 
occurrences and observations I will offer two that reveal original 
thought. \ 

Good Sense of the Wedge-Tailed Eagle. In discus- 
sing bird intelligence with Mr. Herbert D. Atkin, keeper of our 
Eagles Aviary and the cranes and water birds in the Flying 
Cage, he called to my attention two species of birds which had 
very much impressed him. Afterward be showed me all that 
he described. 


Keeper Atkin regards the wedge-tailed eagle, of Australia, 
as the wisest species with which he has to deal. In the first 
place, all four of the birds in that flock recognize the fact that 
he is a good friend, not an enemy, and each day they receive him 
in their midst with cheerful confidence and friendship. In the 
fall when the time comes to catch them, crate them and wheel 
them half a mile to their winter quarters in the Ostrich House, 
they do not become frightened, nor fight against being handled, 
and submit with commendable sense and appreciation. 

The one thing on which the wedge-tailed eagle really insists 
when in his summer quarters, is his daily spray bath from a hose. 
When his keeper goes in to give the daily morning wash to the 
cage, the eagles perch close above his head and screech and 
scream until the spray is turned upon them. Then they spread 
their wings, to get it thoroughly, and come out thoroughly 
soaked. When the spray is merely turned upon their log in- 
stead of upon the birds as they sit higher up, they fly down and 
get into the current wherever it may be. 

Memory of the Cereopsis Goose. Keeper Atkin also 
showed me an instance of the wisdom of the cereopsis geese, 
from Van Diemens Land, South Australia. During the winter 
those birds are kept in the Wild-Fowl Pond; but in summer they 
are quartered in a secluded yard of the Crane's Paddock, nearly 
half a mile away. Twice a year these birds go under their own 
steam between those two enclosures. When turned out of the 
Cranes' Paddock last November they at once set out and walked 
very briskly southward up the Bird's Valley, past the Zebra 
House. On reaching the Service Road, a quarter of a mile away, 
they turned to the left and kept on to the Wolf Dens. There 
they turned to the right and kept on two hundred yards until 
they reached the walk coming down from the Reptile House. 
There they turned to the left, crossed the bridge, stopped at 
the gate to the Wild-Fowl Pond enclosure, and when the gate 
was opened they entered and declared themselves "at home." 

Mr. Atkin says that in spring these birds show just as much 
interest in going back to their summer home. 


Falconry. We cannot do otherwise than regard the ancient 
sport of falconry as a high tribute to the mental powers of the 
genus Falco. The hunting falcons were educated into the sport 
of hawking, just as a boy is trained by his big brother to shoot 
quail on the wing. The birds were furnished with hoods and 
jesses, and other garnitures. They were carried on the hand 
of the huntsman, and launched at unlucky herons and bitterns 
as an intelligent living force. The hunting falcon entered into 
the sport like a true sportsman, and he played the game ac- 
cording to the rules. The sport was cruel, but it was politely 
exciting, and it certainly was a fine exhibition of bird intelli- 
gence. Part of that intelligence was instinctive, but the most 
of it was acquired, by educational methods. 

Outstanding Traits in a Few Groups of Birds. In 
creatures as much lacking in visible expression as most birds are, 
it is difficult to detect the emotions and temperaments that 
prevail in the various groups. Only a few can be cited with 
certain confidence. 

Vanity Displays in Birds. The males of a few species of 
birds have been specially equipped by nature for the display of 
their natural vanity. Anyone who has seen a Zoological Park 
peacock working overtime on a Sunday afternoon in summer 
when the crowds of visitors are greatest, solely to display the 
ocellated splendor of his tail plumage, surely must conclude 
that the bird is well aware of the glories of his tail, and also 
that he positively enjoys showing off to admiring audiences. 

These displays are not casual affairs in the ordinary course 
of the day's doings. It is a common thing for one of our birds 
to choose a particularly conspicuous spot, preferably on an ele- 
vated terrace, from which his display will carry farthest to the 
eyes of the crowd. Even if the bird were controlled by the will 
of a trainer for the purpose of vanity display, the exhibition 
could not possibly be more perfect. Like a good speaker on a 
rostrum, the bird faces first in one direction and then in another, 
and occasionally with a slow and stately movement it com- 


pletely revolves on its axis for the benefit of those in the rear. 
"Vain as a peacock" is by no means an unjustifiable compar- 

Plumage displays are indulged in by turkeys, the blue bird of 
paradise, the greater and lesser birds of paradise, the sage grouse 
and pinnated grouse, ruffed grouse, golden pheasant and argus 

On the whole, we may fairly set down vanity as one of the 
well defined emotions in certain birds, and probably possessed 
by the males in many species which have not been provided by 
nature with the means to display it conspicuously. 

Materials for Study. In seeking means by which to 
study the mental and temperamental traits of wild birds and 
mammals, the definite and clearly cut manifestations are so 
few in kind that we are glad to seize upon everything available. 
Of the visible evidences, pugnacity and the fighting habit are 
valuable materials, because they are visible. Much can be 
learned from the fighting weakness or strength of animals and 

In our great collections of birds drawn from all the land areas 
of the globe, our bird men see much fighting. Mr. Crandall 
has prepared for me in a condensed form an illuminating col- 
lection of facts regarding 

Pugnacity in Captive Birds 

1. Most species do more or less competitive fighting for 
nesting sites or mates, especially: 

Gallinaceous birds, — many of which fight furiously 

for mates; 
The Ruff, or Fighting Snipe {Machetes pugnax), — 

very pugnacious for mates; 
House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) fight for nesting 

places and mates; and 
Some Waterfowl, especially swans and geese, fight for 

nesting places. 

2. Most species which do not depend chiefly upon conceal- 


ment, fight fiercely in defense of nests or young. Typical 
examples are: 



The larger Flycatchers; 

Birds of prey, especially the more powerful ones, such 
as Bald Eagles, Duck Hawks and Horned Owls. 

3. Some species fight in competition for food. Conspicuous 
examples are: 

The fiercer hawks; 

Some carrion eaters, as the King Vulture, Black, 

Sharp-Shinned, Cooper, Gos and Duck Hawks, 

which fight in the air over prey. 

4. Certain birds show pugnacity in connection with the 
robber instinct, as: 

Bald Eagle, which robs the Osprey; 
Skua and Jaeger, which rob gulls. 

5. Some species show general pugnacity. Species to be 
cited are: 

Cassowaries, Emus and Ostriches, all of which are 
more or less dangerous; 

Saras Cranes, which strike wickedly and without 

Some Herons, especially if confined, and 

Birds of Paradise, which are unreasonably quarrel- 

6. In non-social birds, each male will fight for his own 
breeding and feeding territory. The struggle for territory is a 
wide one, and it is now attracting the attention of bird psy- 

Birds are no more angelic than human beings are. They 
have their faults and their mean traits, just as we have; but 
their repertoire is not so great as ours. In every species that 
we have seen tried out in captivity, the baser passions are 
present. This is equally true of mammals. In confinement, in 


every herd and in every flock from elephants down to doves, the 
strong bully and oppress the weak, and drive them to the wall. 

The most philosophic and companionable birds are the par- 
rots, parakeets, macaws and cockatoos. 

The birds that most quickly recognize protection sanctuaries 
and accept them, are the geese, ducks and swans. 

The game birds most nervous and foolish, and difficult to main- 
tain in captivity, are the grouse, ptarmigan and quail. 

The bird utterly destitute 0} sense in captivity is the loon. 

The birds that are most domineering in captivity are the cranes. 

The birds that are most treacherous in captivity are the 
darters {Anhinga). 

The birds that go easiest and farthest in training are the 
parrots, macaws and cockatoos. 

The most beautiful bird species of the world are about fifty 
in number; and only a few of them are found among the birds 
of paradise. 

The minds of wild birds are quite as varied and diversified 
as are the forms and habits of the different orders and genera. 



OF all the vertebrates, the serpents live under the greatest 
handicaps. They are hated and destroyed by all men, 
they can neither run nor fly far away, and they subsist 
under maximum difficulties. Those of the temperate zone are 
ill fitted to withstand the rigors of winter. 

And yet the serpents survive; and we have not heard of 
any species having become extinct during our own times. 

It is indeed worth while to "consider the wisdom of the 
serpent." Without the exercise of keen intelligence all the 
snakes of the cultivated lands of the world long ago would 
have been exterminated. The success of serpents of all species 
in meeting new conditions and maintaining their existence in 
the face of enormous difficulties compels us, as reasoning 
beings, to accord to them keen intelligence and ratiocination. 

The poisonous serpents afford a striking illustration of 
reason and folly en masse. The total number of venomous 
species is really great, and their distribution embraces practi- 
cally the whole of the torrid and temperate zones. They are 
too numerous for mention here; and their capacity for mischief 
to man is very great. Our own country has at least eighteen 
species of poisonous snakes, including the rattlesnakes, the 
copperhead, moccasin, and coral snakes. All these, however, 
are remarkably pacific. Without exception they are non- 
aggressive, and they attack only when they think they are 
exposed to danger, and must defend themselves or die. Hun- 
dreds of thousands, or even millions, of our people have tramped 
through the woods and slept in the sage-brush and creosote 
bushes of the rattlesnake, and waded through swamps full of 



moccasins, with never a bite. In America only about two 
persons per year are bitten by wild rattlesnakes. 

Our snakes, and aU but a very few of the other poison- 
snake species of the world, know that it pays to keep the peace. 
Now, what if all snakes were as foolishly aggressive as the 
hooded and spectacled cobras of India? Let us see. 

Those cobra species are man-haters. They love to attack 
and do damage. They go out of their way to bite people. 
They crawl into huts and bungalows, especially during the 
monsoon rains, and they infest thatch roofs. But are they 
wise, and retiring, like the house-haunting gopher snake of 
the South? 

By no means. The cobra goes around with a chip on his 
shoulder. In India they kill from 17,000 to 18,000 people 
annually! And in return, about 117,000 cobras are killed 
annually. It is a mighty fortunate thing for humanity on 
the frontier that the other serpents of the world know that it is 
a good thing to behave themselves, and not bite unnecessarily. 

Fighting Its Own Kind. The Indian cobra, (Naia trip- 
udians), is an exception to the rule of serpents that forbids 
fighting in the family. While cobras in captivity usually do 
live together in a state of vicious and fully-armed neutrality, 
sometimes they do fight. One of our cobras once attacked 
a cage-mate two-thirds the size of itself, vanquished it, seized 
it by the head and swallowed two-thirds of it before the tragedy 
was discovered. The assailant was compelled to disgorge his 
prey, but the victim was very dead. 

The poison venom of the cobra, rattlesnake, bushmaster and 
puff adder is a great handicap on the social standing of the 
entire serpent faxnily. Mankind in general abhors snakes, both 
in general and particular. The snake not actually known to 
be venomous usually is suspected of being so. It is only the 
strongest mental constitution that can permit a snake to go 
unkilled when the Timin g opportunity offers. It is just as natural 
for the lay brother to kill a chicken snake because it looks like 


a copperliead, or a hog-nosed blowing "viper" because it looks 
like a rattlesnake, as it is to shy at a gun that "may be loaded." 

To American plainsmen, the non-aggressive temper of the 
rattlesnake is well known, and it is also a positive asset. I 
never knew one who was nervously afraid while sleeping in 
the open that snakes would come and crawl into his bed, or 
mix up with his camp. Of course all frontiersmen kill rattlers, 
as a sort of bounden duty to society, but I once knew an 
eastern man to turn loose a rattlesnake that he had photo- 
graphed, in the observance of his principle never to kill an 
animal whose picture he had taken. Subsequently it was 
gravely reported that one of the restive horses of the outfit 
had "accidentally" killed that rattler by stepping upon it. 

A Summary of Poisonous Snakes. There are about 
300,000 poisonous snakes in the United States, and 110,000,000 
people for them to bite; but more people are bitten by captive 
snakes than by wild ones. 

A fool and his snake are soon parted. 

There are 200,000 rattlesnakes in our country, but all of 
them will let you alone if you will let them alone. 

If your police record is clear, you can sleep safely in the 

If ever you need to camp in a cave, remember that in warm 
weather the rattlesnakes are all out hunting, and will not 
return until the approach of winter. 

The largest snakes of the world exist only in the human 

The rattlesnake is a world-beater at minding his own 

Men do far more fighting per capita than any snakes yet 

The road to an understanding of the minds of serpents is 
long and difficult. Perhaps the best initial line of approach 
is through a well-stocked Reptile House. Having studied 


somewhat in that school I have emerged with a fixed belief that 
of all vertebrate creatures, snakes are the least understood, 
and also the most thoroughly misunderstood. 

The world at large debits serpents with being far more 
quarrelsome and aggressive than they really are, and it credits 
them with knowing far less than they do know. 

Attitude of Snakes Toward Each Other. Toward each 
other, the members of the various serpent species are tolerant, 
patient and peaceful to the last degree. You may place to- 
gether in one cage twenty big Texas rattlers, or twenty ugly 
cottonmouth moccasins from the Carolinas, a himdred garter 
snakes, twenty boa constrictors, or six big pythons, and if the 
various species are kept separate there will be no fighting. 
You may stir them up to any reasonable extent, and make 
them keen to strike you, but they do not attack each other. 

There are, however, many species that will not mix together 
in peace. For example, the king snake of New Jersey hates 
the rattlesnake, no matter what his address may be. Being 
by habit a constrictor, the king snake at once winds himself 
tightly around the neck of the rattler, — and proceeds to choke 
him to death. 

The king cobra devours other snakes, as food, and wishes 
nothing else. 

The Gopher Snake. Some snakes that feel sure you will 
not harm them will permit you to handle them without a 
protest or a fight. The most spectacular example is the 
gopher snake of the southeastern United States. This hand- 
some, lustrous, blue-black species is six feet long, shiny, and as 
clean and smooth as ivory. Its members are famous rat- 
killers. You can pick up a wild one wherever you find it, and 
it will not bite you. They do not at all object to being handled, 
even by timorous lady visitors who never before have touched 
a live snake; and in the South they are tolerated by farmers 
for the good they do as rat catchers. 

The Wisdom of a Big Python. Once I witnessed an 


example of snake intelligence on a large scale, which profoundly 
impressed me. 

A reticulated python about twenty-two feet long arrived 
from Singapore with its old skin dried down upon its body. 
The snake had been many weeks without a bath, and it had 
been utterly unable to shed its old skin on schedule time. It 
was necessary to remove all that dead epidermis, without 

The great serpent, fully coiled, was taken out of its box, 
sprayed with warm water, and gently deposited on the gravel 
floor of our most spacious python apartment. Later on pails 
of warm water, sponges and forceps were procured, and five 
strong keepers were assembled for active service. 

The first step was to get the snake safely into the hands of 
the men, and fully undK;^ control. A stream of cold water 
from a hose was suddenly shot in a deluge upon the python's 
head, and while it was disconcerted and blinded by the flood, 
it was seized by the neck, close behind the head. Immediately 
the waiting keepers seized it by the body, from neck to tail, 
and straightened it out, to prevent coiling. Strong hands 
subdued its struggles, and without any violence stretched the 
writhing wild monster upon the floor. 

Then began the sponging and peeling process. The 
frightened snake writhed and resisted, probably feeling sure 
that its last hour had come. The men worked quietly, spoke 
soothingly, and the work proceeded successfully. With the 
lapse of time the serpent became aware of the fact that it was 
not to be harmed; for it became quiet, and lay still. At the 
same time, we all dreaded the crisis that we thought would 
come when the jaws and the head would be reached. 

By the time the head was reached, the snake lay perfectly 
passive. Beyond all doubt, it imderstood the game that was 
being played. 

Now, the- epidermis of a snake covers the entire head, 
including the eyes! And what would that snake do when the 


time came to remove the scales from its eyes and lips? It 
continued to lie perfectly still! When the pulling off of the 
old skin hurt the new skin underneath, the head flinched 
slightly, just as any hurt flesh will flinch by reflex action; but 
that was absolutely all. For a long hour or more, and even 
when the men puUed the dead scales from those eyes and lips, 
that strange creature made no resistance or protest. I have 
seen many people fight their doctors for less. 

That wild, newly-caught jungle snake quickly had recog- 
nized the situation, and acted its part with a degree of sense 
and appreciation that was astounding. I do not know of any 
adtdt wild mammal that would have shown that kind and 
degree of wisdom under similar circumstances. 

Do Snakes "Charm" Birds? Sometimes a wild bird 
will sit still upon its nest while a big pilot blacksnake, or some 
other serpent equally bad, climbs up and poises its head before 
the motionless and terrified bird until at last the serpent 
seizes the bird to devour it. The bird victim really seems to 
be "charmed" by its enemy. If there were not some kind of 
a hypnotic spell cast over the bird, would it not fly away? 

I think this strange proceeding is easily explainable by any 
one with sufficient imagination to put himself in the bird's 
place. It is the rule of a sitting bird to sit tight, not to be 
scared off by trifles, and to take great risks rather than expose 
her eggs to cold and destruction. The ascent and approach of 
the serpent is absolutely noiseless. Not a leaf is stirred. The 
potential mother of a brood calmly sits with eyes half closed, 
at peace with all the world. Suddenly, and with a horrible 
shock, she discovers a deadly serpent's multi-fanged head and 
glittering eyes staring at her within easy striking distance. 

The horrified mother bird feels that she is lost. She knows 
full well that with any movement to escape the serpent instantly 
will launch its attack. Her one hope, and seemingly her only 
chance for life, is that if she remains motionless the serpent will 
go its way without harming her. (Think of the thousands of 


helpless men, women and children who have hoped a,nd acted 
similarly in the presence of bandits and hold-up men presenting 
loaded revolvers! But they were far from being "chai!jned.") 

The bird hopes, and sits still, paralyzed with fear. At its 
leisure the serpent strikes; and after a certain number of 
horrible minutes, all is over. I think there is no real "charm" 
exercised in the tragedy; but that there is on the part of the 
bird a paralysis of fear, which is in my opinion a well defined 
emotion, common in animals and in men. I have seen it in 
many animals. 

Snakes that Feign Death. The common hog-nosed 
snake, mistakenly called the "puff-adder" and blowing "viper" 
(Heterodon platyrhinus) of the New England states, often feigns 
death when it is caught in the open, and picked up. It will 
"play 'possum" while you carry it by its tail, head downward, 
or hang its limp body over a fence. Of course it hopes to 
escape by its very clever ruse, and no doubt it often does so 
from the hands of inexperienced persons. 

Do Snakes Swallow Their Young? I think not. A 
number of persons solemnly have declared that they have seen 
snakes do so, but no herpetologist ever has seen an occurrence 
of that kind. I believe that all of the best authorities on 
serpents believe that snakes do not swaUow their young. The 
theory of the pro-swallowists is that the mother snake takes 
her young into her interior to provide for their safety, and 
that they do not go as far down as the stomach. The anti- 
swallowists declare that the powerful digestive juices of the 
stomach of a snake would quickly kiU any snakelets coming in 
contact with it; and I believe that this is true. 

At present the snake-swallowirig theory must be ticketed 
"not proven," and is filed for further reference. 

The Hoop Snake Fable. There is no such thing as a 
"hoop-snake" save in the vivid imaginations of a very few 

The Intelligence of the King Cobra. Curator of Rep- 


tiles Raymond L. Ditmars regards the huge king cobra of the 
Malay Peninsula, the largest of all poisonous serpents, as 
quite the wisest serpent known to him. He says its mind is 
alert and responsive to a very imusual degree in serpents, and 
that it manifests a keen interest in everything that is going on 
aroimd it, especially at feeding-time. This is quite the reverse 
of the usual sluggish and apathetic serpent mind in captivity. 

Incidentally, I would like very much to know just what our 
present twelve-foot cobra thought when, upon its arrival at 
its present home, its total blindness was relieved by the 
thrillingly skilful removal of the two layers of dead scales that 
had closed over and finally adhered to each orbit. 

The vision of the king cobra is keen, and its temper is not 
easily ruffled. Its temperament seems to be sanguine, which 
is just the opposite of the nervous-combative hooded and 
spectacled cobra species. 

The So-called "Snake Charmers" of India. Herpe- 
tologists generally discredit the idea that a peripatetic Hindu 
can "charm" a cobra any farther or more quickly than any 
snake-keeper. In the first place, the fangs of the serpent are 
totally removed, — ^by a very savage and painful process. 
After that, the unfortunate snake is in no condition to fight 
or to flee. It seeks only to be let alone, and the musical-pipe 
business is to impress the mind of the observer. 

Serpent Psychology an Unplowed Field. At this date 
(1922) we know only the rudiments of serpent intelligence and 
temperament. In the wilds, serpents are most elusive and 
difficult to determine. In captivity they are passive and 
undemonstrative. We do not know how much memory they 
have, they rarely show what they think, and on most subjects 
we do not know where they stand. But the future will change 
all this. During the past twenty years the number of herpe- 
tologists in the United States has increased about tenfold. It 
is fairly impossible that serpent psychology should much 


longer remain unstudied, and unrevealed along the Unes of 
plain common-sense. 

The Ways of Crocodiles. The ways of crocodiles are 
dark and deep; their thoughts are few and far between. Their 
wisdom is above that of the tortoises and turtles, but below 
that of the serpents. I have had field experience with four 
species of crocodilians in the New World and three in the Old. 
With but slight exceptions they all think alike and act alike. 

The great salt-water crocodile of the Malay Peninsula and 
Borneo is the only real man-eater I ever met. Except under 
the most provocative circumstances, all the others I have met 
are practically harmless to man. This includes the Florida 
species, the Orinoco crocodile, the little one from Cuba, the 
alligator, the Indian gavial and the Indian crocodile (C. 

The salt-water crocodile, that I have seen swimming out in 
the ocean two miles or more from shore, is in Borneo a voracious 
man-eater. It skilfully stalks its prey in the murky rivers 
where Malay and Dyak women and children come down to 
the village bathing place to dip up water and to bathe. There, 
unseen in the muddy water, the monster glides up stealthily, 
seizes his victim by the leg, and holding it tightly backs off 
into deep water and disappears. The victims are drowned, not 
bitten to death. 

I found in Ceylon that the Indian crocodile is a shameless 
cannibal, devouring the skinned carcasses of its relatives 
whenever an opportunity offered. 

The Florida crocodile is the shrewdest species of all those 
I know personally. It has the strange habit of digging out 
deep and spacious burrows for concealment, in the perpen- 
dicular sandy banks of southern Florida rivers where the deep 
water comes right up to the shore. Starting well under low- 
water mark, the crock digs in the yielding sand, straight into 
the bank, a roomy subterranean chamber. In this snug re- 
treat he once was safe from all his enemies, — until the fatal 


day when his secret was discovered, and revealed to a grasping 
world. Since that time, the Alligator Joes of Palm Beach and 
Miami have made a business of personally conducting parties 
of northern visitors, at $50 per catch, to witness the adventure 
of catching a nine-foot crocodile alive. The dens are located 
by probing the sand with long iron rods. A rope noose is set 
over the den's entrance, and when all is ready, a confederate 
probes the crocodile out of its den and into the fatal noose. 

Today the Florida crocodile is so nearly extinct that it 
required two years of diligent inquiry to produce one live 
specimen subject to purchase. 

Common Sense in the Common Toad Last spring, 
in planting a lot of trees on our lawn, a round tree-hole that 
stood for several days unoccupied finally accumulated about a 
dozen toads. Its two feet of straight depth was unscalable, 
and when finally discovered the toads were tired of their 
imprisonment. Partly as a test of their common-sense, Mr. 
George T. Fielding placed a six-inch board in the hole, at an 
angle of about thirty degrees, but fairly leading out of the 

In very quick time the toads recognized the possibilities of 
the inclined plane and hopped upward to liberty. In the use 
of this opportunity they showed more wisdom than our moun- 
tain sheep manifest concerning the same kind of an improve- 
ment designed to enable them to reach the roof of their building* 



BEFORE we enter this chapter let us pause a moment 
on the threshold, and consider the logic of animal 
training and performances. 

Logic is only another name for reason. Its reverse side is 
fanaticism; and that way madness lies. It is the duty of every 
sane man and woman to consider the cold logic of every 
question affecting the welfare of man and nature. Fanaticism 
when carried to extremes can become a misdemeanor or a 
crime. The soft-hearted fanaiticism of humanics that saves 
a brutal murderer, or would-be murderer like Berkman, from 
the gallows or the chair, and eventually turns him loose to 
commit more crimes against innocent people, is not only wrong, 
and wicked, but in aggravated cases it is a crime against 

Just now there is a tiny wave of agitation against all 
performances of trained wild animals, and the keeping of 
animals in captivity, on the ground that all this is "cruel" 
and inhumane. The Jacklondon Society of Boston is working 
hard to get up steam for this crusade, but thus far with only 
partial success. Its influence is confined to a very small area. 

Now, what is the truth of this matter? Is it true that 
trained wild animals are cruelly abused in the training, or in 
compelling them to perform? Is it true that in making 
animals perform on the stage, or in the circus ring, their rights 
are wickedly infringed? Is it the duty of the American people 
to stop all performances by animals? Is it wicked to make 
wild animals, or cats and dogs, work for a living, as men and 
women do? Is it true that captive animals in zoological parks 



and gardens are miserable and unhappy, and that all such 
institutions should be "abolished?" What is truth? 

In the first place, there is no sound reasoning or logic in 
assuming that the persons of animals, tame or wild, are 
any more sacred than those of men, women and children. We 
hold that it is no more "cruelty" for an ape or a dog to work 
in training quarters or on the stage than it is for men, women 
and young people to work as acrobats, or actors, or to engage 
in honest toil eight hours per day. Who gave to any warm- 
blooded animal that consumes food and requires shelter the 
right to live without work? No one! I am sure that no 
trained bear of my acquaintance ever had to work as hard for 
his food and shelter as does the average bear out in the wilds. 
In order to find enough to eat the latter is compelled to hustle 
hard from dawn till dark. I have seen that the Rocky Moun- 
tain grizzly feels forced to dig a big hole three feet deep in 
hard, rocky ground, to get one tiny ground squirrel the size of 
a chipmunk, — and weighing only eight or nine ounces. Now, 
has he anything "on" the performing bear? Decidedly not. 

I regard the sentimental Jacklondon idea, that no wild 
animal should be made to work on the stage or in the show-ring, 
as iUogical and absurd. Human beings who sanely work are 
much happier per capita than those who do nothing but loaf 
and grouch. I have worked, horse-hard, throughout all the 
adult years of my life; and it has been good for me. I know 
that it is no more wrong or wicked for a horse to work for 
his living, — of course on a humane basis, — either on the stage 
or on the street, than it is for a coal-carrier, a foundryman, 
a fanner, a bookkeeper, a school teacher or a housewife to 
do the day's work. 

The person of a wild animal is no more sacred than is that 
of a man or woman. A sound whack for an unruly elephant, 
bear or horse is just as helpful as it is for an unruly boy who 
needs to be shown that order is heaven's first law. 

In the presence of the world's toiling and sweating millions, 


in the presence of millions of children in the home sweat-shops 
and factories working their little lives out for their daily crust 
and a hard bed, what shall we think and say of the good, 
kind-hearted people who are spending time and energy in 
crusading against trained animal performances? 

The vast majority of performing animals are trained by 
humane men and women, practicing kindness to the utmost; 
and they are the last persons in the world who would be 
willing to have their valuable stock roughly handled, neglected 
or in any manner cruelly treated. 

So far as zoological parks and gardens are concerned, they 
are no more in need of defense than the Rocky Mountains. 

Every large zoological park is a school of wild-animal 
education and training; and it is literally a continuous per- 
formance. Let no one suppose that there is no training of 
wild beasts save for the circus ring and the vaudeville stage. 
Of the total number of large and important mammals that 
come into our zoological parks, the majority of them actually 
are trained to play becomingly their respective parts. An 
intractable and obstinate animal soon becomes a nuisance. 

The following, named in the order of their importance, are 
the species whose zoological park training is a matter of 
necessity: Elephants, bears, apes, hippopotami, rhinoceroses, 
giraffes, bison, musk-ox, wild sheep, goats and deer, African 
antelopes, wild swine, and wild horses, asses and zebras. Of 
large birds the most conspicuous candidates for training in 
park life are the ostriches, emus, cassowaries, cranes, pelicans, 
swans, egrets and herons, geese, ducks, pheasants, macaws and 
cockatoos, curassows, eagles and vultures. Among the reptiles, 
the best trained are the giant tortoises, the pythons, boas, 
alligators, crocodiles, iguanas and gopher snakes. 

Each one of these species is educated (i) to be peaceful, 
and not attack their keepers; (2) to not fear their keepers; 
(3) to do as they are bid about going here or there; (4) to 
accept and eat the food that is provided for them, and (5) 


finally, in some cases to "show off" a littl^ when commanded, 
for the benefit of visitors. ( 

All this training comes in the regular course of our "daily 
work, and there are few animals who do not respond to it. 
The necessity for training is most imperative with the ele- 
phants and bears, for without it the difficulties in the manage- 
ment of those dangerous animals is greatly intensified. 

In training an animal to do a particular act not in the 
routine of his daily life, it is of course necessary to show him 
clearly and pointedly what is desired. I think that in quick- 
ness of perception, and ability to adopt a new idea, the ele- 
phants and the great apes are tied for first place. Both are 
remarkably quick. It seems to me that it required only half 
a dozen lessons to teach our Indian elephant, Gunda, to 
take a penny in his trunk, Hft the lid of a high-placed box, 
drop in the coin, then pull a beU-cord and ring a beU. Of 
course the reward for the first successful performances was 
lumps of sugar. Within three days this rather interesting 
special exhibit was working smoothly, and coining money. As 
a means of working off on the poor animal great numbers of 
foreign copper coins, and spurious issues of all kinds, it was 
a great boon to the foreign population of New York. Our 
erratic elephant Alice was quickly trained by Keeper 
Richards to blow a mouth organ, to ring a telephone by turning 
the cranl^and to take off the receiver and hold it up to her 
ear for an imaginary call. 

Another keeper, with no previous experience as a trainer, 
taught a male orang-utan called Rajah to go through a series 
of performances that are elsewhere described. 

Bright and Dull Individuals. Every wild animal spe- 
cies contains the same range of bright and dull individuals 
that are found in the various races of men. Naturally the 
animal trainer selects for training only those animals that are 
of amiable disposition, that mentally are alert, responsive and 
possessed of good memories. The worst mistakes they make 
are in taking on and forcing ill-natured and irritable animals, 


that hate training and performing. Often a trainer persists in 
retaining an animal that resolutely should be thrown out. 
Captain Bonavita lost his arm solely because of his fatal 
persistence in retaining in his group of lions an animal that 
hated him, and which the trainer well knew was dangerous. 

While nearly every wild animal can be taught a few simple 
tricks, the dull mind soon reaches its constitutional limit. 
Even among the great apes, conditions are quite the same. 
One half the orang-utans are of the thin-headed, pin-headed 
type that is hopeless for stage training. The good ones are 
the stocky, round-headed, round-faced individuals who have 
the cephalic index of the statesman or jurist, and a broad and 
well-rounded dome of thought. 

Training for the Ring and the Stage. During his 
long and successful career as a purveyor of wild animals for 
all purposes, Carl Hagenbeck had great success in the pro- 
duction of large animal groups trained for stage performances. 
I came in close touch with his methods and their results. His 
methods were very simple, and they were founded on kindness 
and common sense. Mr. Hagenbeck hated whips and punish- 
ments. When an animal could not get on without them, it 
was dropped from the cast. His working theory was that an 
unwilling animal makes a bad actor. 

There is no mystery about the best methods in training 
animals, wild or domestic. The first thing is to assemble 
a suitable number of young animals, all of which are mentally 
bright and physically sound. Most adult animals are im- 
• practicable, and often impossible, because they are set in their 
ways. The elephants are monumental exceptions. A large, 
well-lighted and sunny room is provided; and around it are 
the individual cages for the student animals. The members of 
the company are fed wisely and well, kept scrupulously clean, 
and in all ways made comfortable and contented. When not 
at their work they are allowed to romp and play together 
until they are tired of the exercise. 


The trainer who has been selected to create a specified 
group spends practically his entire time with his pupils. He 
feeds them, and mixes with them daily and hourly. From the 
beginning he teaches them that they must obey him, and not 
fight. The work of training begins with simple things, and goes 
on to the complex; and each day the same routine is carried 
out. To each animal is assigned a certain place in the circle, 
with a certain tub or platform on which to sit at ease when 
not acting in the ring. It is exceedingly droll to see a dozen 
cub lions, tigers, bears and cheetahs sitting decorously on their 
respective tubs and gravely watching the thirteenth cub who 
is being labored with by the keeper to bring its ideas and acts 
into line. 

The stage properties are many; and they all assist in helping 
the actors to remember the sequence of their acts, as well as 
the things to be done. The key that controls the mind of 
a good animal is the reward idea. Many a really bad animal 
goes through its share of the performance solely to secure the 
bit of meat, the lump of sugar or the prized biscuit that 
never fails to show up at the proper moment. 

The acts to be performed are gone over in the training 
quarters, innumerable times; and this continues so long that 
by the time the "group" is ready for the stage, behold! the 
cubs Vith which the patient and tireless trainer began have 
grown so large that to the audience they now seem Uke adult 
and savage animals. Those who scoff at the wild animal 
mind, and say that all this displays nothing but "machines 
in fur" need to be reminded that this very same line of effort in 
training and rehearsal is absolutely necessary in the production 
of every military company, every ballet, and every mass 
performance on the stage. There is no successful performance 
without training. Boys and girls require the very same sort 
of handling that the wild animals receive, but the humans do 
with a little less of it. 

The man who flouts a good stage performance by wild 


animals on the ground that it reveals "no thought," and is 
only "imitation," is, in my judgment, a very short-sighted 
student. Maniacs and imbeciles cannot be trained to perform 
any program fit to be seen. I saw that tried fifty years ago, 
in "the wild Australian children," who were idiots. The 
performer must think, and reason. 

Of the many groups of trained animals that I have seen in 
performances, my mind goes back first to the one which con- 
tained a genuine bear comedian, of the Charlie Chaplin t3^e. 
It was a Himalayan black bear, with fine side whiskers, and 
it really seemed to me absolutely certain that the other animals 
in the group appreciated and enjoyed the fun that comedian 
made. He pretended to be awkward, and frequently fell off 
his tub. He was purposely dilatory, and was often the last 
one to finish. The other animals seemed to be fascinated by 
his mishaps, and they sat on their tubs and watched him witii 
what looked like genuine amusement. I remember another 
circle of seated animals who calmly and patiently sat and 
watched while the trainer labored with a cross and refractor 
leopard, to overcome its stubbornness, and to make it do its 

Carl Hagenbeck loved to produce mixed groups of dangerous 
animals, — ^lions, tigers, leopards, bears and wolves. One trailer 
whom I knew was assisted in a highly dangerous group by 
a noble stag-hound who habitually kept close to his mastei, 
and was said to be ready to attack instantly any animal that 
might attack the trainer. I never saw a finer bodyguard than 
that dog. 

In 1908 the most astounding animal group ever turned out 
of the Hagenbeck establishment, or shown on <any stage, 
appeared in London. It consisted of 75 full-grown polar hears! 
Now, polar bears, either for the cage or the stage, are bad 
citizens. Instinctively I always suspect their mental reserva- 
tions, and for twenty-one years have carefully kept our keepers 
out of their reach. But Mr. William Hagenbeck, brother of 


the great Carl, actually trained and performed with a huge 
herd of dangerous polars to the number stated. 

In the Strand magazine for April, 1908, there is a fine 
article by Arthur Harold about this group and its production. 
It says that the bears were obtained when seven or eight 
months old, in large lots, and all thrown in together. It took 
a keeper between seven and eight months to educate them 
out of their savage state, — ^by contact, kindness, sugar and 
fruit, — and then they were turned over to the trainer, Mr. 
Hagenbeck. They were taught to form p3n:amids, climb lad- 
ders, shoot the chutes, ride in pony carriages, draw and ride 
in sleds, drink from bottles, and work a see-saw. Various 
individuals did individual tricks. The star performer was 
Monk, the wrestling bear, who went with his trainer through 
a fearsome wrestling performance. 

Concerning the temperament of that polar bear group 
Mr. William Hagenbeck said: 

"Although I know every animal in the company, have 
taught each one to recognize me, and have been among many 
of them lor fifteen years, I can not now tell by their expressions 
the moods of the animals. This is one of the charactertistics 
of the polar bear. Their expression remains the same, and 
it is impossible to detect by watching their faces whether they 
are pleased or cross. Now in most wild animals, such as the 
lion, you can tell by the expression of the beast's face and by 
its actions whether it is in a good temper or not, . . . 
The truth is, the polar bear is a most awkward beast to train. 
In the first place its character is difficult to understand. He is 
by nature very suspicious, and without the least warning is 
apt to turn upon his trainer. Among the seventy bears that 
have been taught to do tricks, only two of them are really fond 
of their work." 

In the end, Mr. William Hagenbeck was very nearly killed 
by one of these polar bears. I was with Carl Hagenbeck a 
few hours after he received telegraphic news of the tragedy. 


and his bitterness against those polar bears was boundless. 
I understood that Monk, the wrestling bear, was the assailant, 
— which was small cause for wonder. When I saw Mr. 
Hagenbeck's polar bear show, it gave me shivers of fear. The 
first two big male polars that we installed at our Park came 
from that very group, and one of them led us into a dreadful 
tragedy, with a female bear as the victim. 

The So-Called "Trick" Performances. Some psychol- 
ogists make light of what they call "trick performances," in 
which the performing animals are guided by signs, or signals, 
or spoken commands from their trainers. I have never been 
able to account for this. It is incontestably true that dull 
and stupid animals can learn little, and perform less. For 
example, all the training in the world could not suffice to put 
a pig through a performance that a chimpanzee or orang 
could master in two weeks. The reason is that the pig has 
not the brain power that is indispensable. A woodchuck 
never could become the mental equal of a wood rat (Neotoma). 
A sheep could not hope to rival a horse, either in training or in 

Really, the brain, the memory and reason must enter into 
every animal performance that amounts to anything worth while. 
It is just as sensible to flout soldiers on the drill-ground as to 
wave aside as of no account a troup of trained lions or sf a-lions 
on the stage. Any animal that can be taught to perform 
difficult feats, and that delivers the goods in the blinding glare 
and riot of the circus ring or the stage footlights, is entitled 
to my profound respect for its powers of mind and nerve. 

The Sea-Lion's Repertoire. Long ago trainers recog- 
nized in the California sea-lion (Zalophus) a good subject for 
the ring and stage. Its long, supple neck, its lithe body and 
brilliant nervous energy seemed good for difficult acts. The 
sea-lion takes very kindly to training, and really delights in 
its performances. In fact, it enters into its performance with 
a keen vigor and zest that is pleasing to behold. Let this 


veracious record of a performance of Treat's five sea-lions and 
two harbor seals, that I witnessed October 15, 1910, tell the 
whole story, in order that the reader may judge for himself: 

1. Each sea-lion balanced upright on its nose a wooden 
staff 3 feet long, with a round knob on its upper end. 

2. Each sea-lion caught in its mouth a three-foot stick 
with a ball on each end, tossed it up, whirled it in the air, 
and caught it again. This was repeated, without a miss. 

3. Each sea-lion balanced on the tip of its nose, first 
a ball like a baseball, then a large ball two feet in diameter. 

4. Each sea-lion climbed a double ladder of eight steps, 
and went down on the other side, balancing a large ball on 
the end of its nose, without a miss. 

5. The trainer handed a ball to the sea-lion nearest 
him, who balanced it on his nose, walked with it to his box 
and climbed up. 

6. Then another sea-lion walked over to him, and 
waited expectantly until sea-lion No. i tossed the ball to 
No. 2, who caught it on his nose, walked over to his box, 
climbed up, and presently tossed it to No. 3. 

7. A silk hat was balanced on its rim. 

8. A seal carrying a balanced ball scrambled upon a 
cylindrical basket and rolled it across the arena, after which 
otheif seals repeated the performance. 

9. In the last act a flaming torch was balanced, tossed 
about, caught and whirled, and finally returned to the 
trainer, still blazing. 

Trained Horses. By carefully selecting the brightest 
and most intelligent horses that can be found, it is possible for 
a trainer to bring together and educate a group that will go 
through a fine performance in public. However, some exhibi- 
tions of trained horses are halting, ragged and poor. I have 
seen only one that stands out in my records as superlatively 
fine, — for horses. That was known to the public when I saw 


it as Bartholomew's "Equine Paradox," and it contained 
twelve wonderfully trained horses. My record of this fine 
performance fills seven pages of a good-sized notebook. While 
it is too long to reproduce here entire, it can at least be briefly 
described. The trainer called his group a "school," and of it 
be said: 

"While I do not say that any one horse knows the meaning 
of from 300 to 400 words, I claim that as a whole the school 
does know that number." 

The performance was fairly bewildering; but by diligent 
work I recorded the whole of it. Various horses did various 
things. They fetched chairs, papers, hats and coats; opened 
desks, rang bells, came when called, bowed, knelt, and erased 
figures from a blackboard. They danced a waltz, a dog dance, 
a figure-8; they marched, halted, paced, trotted, galloped, 
backed, jimiped, leaped over each other, performed with a 
barrel, a see-saw and a double see-saw. Their marching and 
drilling would have been creditable to a platoon of rookies. 

In performing, every horse is handicapped by his lack of 
hands and plantigrade feet; and the horse memory is not very 
sure or certain. More than any other animal, the horse 
depends upon the trainer's command, and in poor performances 
the command often requires to be repeated, two or three 
times, or more. The memory of the horse is not nearly so 
quick nor so certain as that of the chimpanzee or elephant. 

Dr. Martin J. Potter, of New York, famous trainer of stage 
and movie animals, states that of all animals, wild or domestic, 
the horse is the most intelligent; but I doubt whether he ever 
trained any chimpanzees. Speaking from out of the abundance 
of his training experience with many species of animals except 
the great apes. Dr. Potter says that "the seal [i. e. California 
sea-lion] learns its stage cues more easily than any other 
mute performer. The horse, however, is the most intelligent 
of all animals in its grasp and understanding of the work it 
has learned to perform, and in its reliable faithfulness and 


Dr. Potter holds that of wild animals the tiger, owing to 
its treachery and ferocity, is the most difficult wild animal to 
train; the lion is the most reliable, and the most stupid of all 
animals is the pig. 

The Taming of Boma. A keeper for a short time in our 
place, named D'Osta, once did a very neat piece of work in 
taming a savage and intractable chimpanzee. When Boma 
came to us, fresh from the French Congo, he was savage and 
afraid. He retreated to the highest resting-place of his cage, 
came down only at night for his meals, and would make no 
compromise. We believed that he had been fearfully abused 
by his former owners, and through mistreatment had acquired 
both fear and hatred of all men. 

After the lapse of several months with Boma on that basis, 
the situation grew tiresome and intolerable. So D'Osta said: 

"I must tame that animal, and teach him not to be afraid 
of us." 

He introduced a roomy shifting cage into Boma's compart- 
ment, fixed the drop door, and for many days served Boma's 
food and water in that cage only. For two weeks the ape 
eluded capture, but eventually the keeper caught him. At 
first Boma's rage and fear were boundless; but presently the 
idea dawned upon his mind that he was not to be killed im- 
mediately. D'Osta handed him excellent food and water, 
twice a day, spoke to him soothingly, and otherwise let him 
alone. Slowly Boma's manner changed. He learned that he 
was not to be hurt, nor even annoyed. Confidence in the men 
about him began to come to him. His first signs of friendliness 
were promptly met and cultivated. 

At the end of ten days, D'Osta opened the sliding door, 
and Boma walked out, a wiser and better ape. His bad temper 
and his fears were gone. He trusted his keeper, and cheerfully 
obeyed him. Strangest of all, he even suffered D'Osta to put 
a collar upon him, and chain him to the front bars to curb 
his too great playfulness while his cage was being cleaned. 


Soma's fear of man has never returned. Now, although he is 
big and dangerous, he is a perfectly normal ape. 

The Training of an Over-Age Bear. A bear-trainer- 
athlete and " bear-wrestler " named Jacob Glass once taught me a 
lesson that astounded me. It related to the training of a bear 
that I thought was too old to be trained. 

We had an Alaskan cinnamon bear, three years old, that 
had been christened " Christian," at Skagway, because it stood 
so much pestering without flying into rages, as the grizzly did. 
After a short time with us, the concrete floors of our bear dens 
reacted upon the soles of its feet so strangely and so seriously 
that we were forced to transfer the animal to a temporary 
cage that had a wooden floor. While I was wondering what 
to do with that bear, along came Mr. Glass, anxious and 

"My wrestling bear has died on me," he said, "and I've 
got to get another. You have got one that I would like to 
buy from you. It's the one you call Christian." 

Very kindly I said, "That is a mighty fine bear, as to temper; 
but now he is entirely too old to train, and you couldn't do 
anything with him. He would be a loss to you." 

"I've looked him over, and I like his looks. I think I 
can train him all right. You let me have him, and I'll make a 
fine performer of him." 

"I know that you never can do it; but you may try him, 
and send him back when you fail." 

Thus ended the first lesson; and I was sure that in a month 
Mr. Glass would beg me to take back the untrainable animal. 

About one year later Glass appeared again, jubilant. At 
once he broke forth into eulogies of Christian; but one chapter 
would not be large enough to contain them. He had trained 
that bear, with outrageous ease and celerity, and had im- 
mediately taken him upon the stage as a professional jiu-jitsu 
wrestler. And really, the act was admirable. As a wrestler, 
the bear seemed almost as intelligent as the man. He knew 



the "left-hand half -nelson" as well as Glass, and he knew the 
following words, perfectly: "Right, left, half -nelson, strangle, 
head up, nose under arm, and hammer-lock." 

Glass declared that this bear was more intelligent than any 
lion, or any other trained animal ever seen by him. He was 
wise in many ways besides wrestling, — in his friendship with 
Glass, with other bears, with other men, and with a dog. Ee 
obeyed all orders willingly, even permitting Glass to take his 
food away when he was eating; but he would not stand being 
punished with a whip or a stick! In response to that he would 
bite. However, he generously permitted himself to be held 
down and choked, as a punishment, after which he would be very 
repentant, and would insist upon getting into his partner's 
lap, — to show his good wiH. 

Glass was enthusiastically certain that Christian could 
reason independently from cause to effect. He declared that 
his alertness of mind was so pronounced it was very rarely 
necessary to show him a second time how to do a given thing. 

Training an Adult Savage Monkey. Once we had a 
number of Japanese red-faced monkeys, and one of the surplus 
adult males had a temper as red as his face. Mr. Wormwood, 
an exhibitor of performing monkeys, wished to buy that animal; 
but I declined to sell it, on the ground that it would be im- 
possible to train it. 

At that impHed challenge the trainer perked up and in- 
sisted upon having that particular bad animal; so we yielded. 
He wished him for the special business of turning somersaults, 
because he had no tail to interfere with that performance. 

Two months later Mr. Wormwood appeared again. " Yes," 
he said, but not boastfully, "/ trained him; but I came mighty 
near to giving him up as a bad job. He was the hardest subject 
I ever tackled; but I conquered him at last, and now he is work- 
ing all right." 

A really great number of different kinds of animals have 
been trained for stage performances, running the scale aU the 


way up from fleas to elephants. It is easy to recall mice, 
rats, rabbits, squirrels, parrots, macaws, cockatoos, crows, 
chickens, geese, cats, pigs, dogs, monkeys, baboons, apes, bears, 
seals, sea-lions, walruses, kangaroos, horses, hippopotami and 
elephants. It is a large subject, and its many details are full 
of interest. It is impossible to discuss here all these species 
and breeds. 

In concluding these notes I leave off as I began,-^with the 
statement that any student of animal psychology who for any 
reason whatever ignores or undervalues the intelligence of 
trained animals puts a handicap upon himself. 



THE ethics and morals of men and animals are thoroughly 
comparative, and it is only by direct comparisons that 
they can be analyzed and classified. It is quite possible 
that there are quite a number of intelligent men and women 
who are not yet aware of the fact that wild animals have moral 
codes, and that on an average they live up to them better 
than men do to theirs. 

It is a painful operation to expose the grinning skeletons in 
the closets of the human family, but in no other way is it pos- 
sible to hold a mirror up to nature. With all our brightness 
and all our talents, — real and imitation, — few men ever stop 
to ask what our horses, dogs and cats think of our follies and 
our wickedness. 

By the end of the year 192 1 the annual total of human 
wickedness had reached staggering proportions. From August 
1914 to November 1918 the moral standing of the human race 
reached the lowest depth it ever sounded since the days of the 
cave-dwellers. This we know to be true, because of the increase 
in man's capacity for wickedness, and its crop of results. After 
what we recently have seen in Europe and Asia, and on the 
high seas, let no man speak of a monster in human form as "a 
brute;" for so far as moral standing is concerned, some of the 
animals allegedly "below man" now are in a position to look 
down upon him. 

It is a cold and horrid fact that today, all around us, and 
sometimes close at hand, men are committing a long list of 



revolting crimes such as even the most debased and cruel 
beasts of the field never commit. I refer to wanton wholesale 
murder, often with torture; assault with violence, robbery in a 
hundred cruel forms, and a dozen unmentionable crimes in- 
vented by degenerate man and widely practiced. If anyone 
feels that this indictment is too strong, I can cite a few titles 
that will be quite sufl&cient for my case. 

Let us make a few comparisons between the himian species 
{Homo sapiens) and the so-called "lower" wild animals; and 
let it be imderstood that the author testifies, in courtroom 
phrase, only "to the best of his information and belief." 

Only two wild animal species known to me, — wolves and 
crocodiles, — devour their own kind; but many of the races of 
men have been cannibals, and some are so today. 

Among free wild animals, the cruel abuse or murder of 
children by their parents, or by other adults of the tribe, is 
unknown; but in all the "civilized" races of men infanticide 
and child murder are frightfully common crimes. In 192 1 a 
six-year-old Eskimo girl, whose father and mother had been 
murdered, was strangled by her relatives, because she had no 
visible means of support. 

The murder of the aged and helpless among wild animals 
is almost unknown; but among both the savage and the civilized 
races of men it is quite common. Our old acquaiatance, 
Shack-Nasty Jim, the Modoc Indian, tomahawked his own 
mother because she hindered his progress; but many persons 
in and around New York have done worse than that. 

Civil war between the members of a wild animal species 
is a thing unknown in the annals of wild-animal history; but 
among men it is an every-day occurrence. 

Among free animals it is against the moral and ethical codes 
of all species of vertebrates for the strong to bully and oppress 
the weak; but it is almost everywhere a common rule of action 
with about ten per cent of the human race. 

The members of a wild animal species are in honor bound 


not to rob one another, but with 25 per cent of the men of all 
civilized races, robbery, and the desire to get something for 
nothing, are ruling passions. No wild animals thus far known 
and described practice sex crimes; but the less!;said of the races 
of men on this subject, the better for our feelings. 

Among animals, save in the warfare of carnivorous animals 
for their daily food, there are no exterminatory wars between 
species, and even local wars over territory are of very rare occur- 
rence. Among men, the territorial wars of tribes and nations 
are innumerable, they have been from the earliest historic 
times, and they are certain to continue as long as this earth 
is inhabited by man. The "end of war" between the grasping 
nations of this earth is an iridescent dream, because of the 
inextinguishable jealousy and meanness of nations; but it is 
well to reduce them to a minimum. Nations like Germany, 
Bulgaria, Turkey and Russia will never stand hitched for any 
long periods. Their peace-loving neighbors need to keep their 
weapons well oiled and polished, and indulge in no hallucina- 
tions of a millenium upon this wicked earth. 

In the mating season, there is fighting in many wild animal 
species between the largest and finest male individuals for the 
honor of overlordship in increasing and diffusing the species. 
These encounters are most noticeable in the various species of 
the deer family, because the fatal interlocking of antlers occa- 
sionally causes the death of both contestants. We have in 
our National Collection of Heads and Horns sets of interlocked 
antlers of moose, caribou, mule deer and white-tailed deer. 

Otherwise than from the accidental interlocking of antlers, — 
due to the fact that an animal can push forward with far 
greater force than it can pull back, — I have never seen, heard 
or read of a wild animal having been killed outright in a fight 
over the possession of females. Fur seal and Stellar sea-lion 
bulls, and big male orang-utans, frequently are found badly 
scarified by wounds received in fighting during the breeding 
season, but of actual deaths we have not heard. 


The first law of the jungle is: "Live, and let live." 

Leaving out of account the carnivorous animals who must 
kill or die, aU the wild vertebrate species of the earth have learned 
the logic that peace promotes happiness, prosperity and long life. 
This fundamentally useful knowledge governs not only the 
wild animal individual, but also the tribe, the species, and con- 
tiguous species. 

Do the brown bears and grizzlies of Alaska wage war upon 
each other, species against species? By no means. It seems 
reasonably certain that those species occasionally intermarry. 
Do the big sea-lions and the walruses seek to drive away or 
exterminate the neighboring fur seals or the helpless hair seals? 
Such warfare is absolutely unknown. Do the moose and 
caribou of Alaska and Yukon Territory attack the mountain 
sheep and goats? Never. Does the Indian elephant attack 
the gaur, the sambar, the axis deer or the muntjac? The idea 
is preposterous. Does any species of giraffe, zebra, antelope 
or buffalo attack any other species on the same crowded plains 
of British East Africa? If so, we have yet to learn of it. 

If the races and nations of men were as peace-loving, honest 
and sensible in avoiding wars as all the wild animal species are, 
then would we indeed have a social heaven upon earth. 

Now, tell me, ye winged winds that blow from the four 
comers of the earth and over the seven seas, whence came the 
Philosophy of Peace to the world's wild animals? Did they 
learn it by observing the ways of man? "It is to laugh," says 
the innkeeper. Man has not yet learned it himself; and there- 
fore do we find the beasts of the field a lap ahead of the quarrel- 
some biped who has assumed dominion over them. 

Day by day we read in our newspapers of men and women 
who are moral lepers and utterly unfit to associate with horses, 
dogs, cats, deer and elephants. Our big male chimpanzee, 
Father Boma, who knows no wife but Suzette, and firmly repels 
the blandishments of his neighbor Fanny, is a more moral 


individual than many a pretty gentleman whose name we see 
heading columns of divorce proceedings in the newspapers. 

Said the Count to Julia in "The Hunchback," "Dost thou 
like the picture, dearest?" As a natural historian, it is our task 
to hew to the line, and let the chips fall where they will. 

Among the wild animals there are but few degenerate and 
unmoral species. In some very upright species there are 
occasionally individual lapses from virtue. A famous case in 
point is the rogue elephant, who goes from meanness to mean- 
ness until he becomes unbearable. Then he is driven out of 
the herd; he becomes an outcast and a bandit, and he upsets 
carts, maims bullocks, tears down huts and finally murders 
natives until the nearest local sahib gets after him, and ends 
his career with a bullet through his wicked brain. 

In my opinion the gray wolf of North America (like his 
congener in the Old World) is the most degenerate and unmoral 
mammal species on earth. He murders his wounded pack- 
mates, he is a greedy cannibal, he will attack his wife and chew 
her unmercifully. On the other hand, his one redeeming trait 
is that he helps to rear the pups, — when they are successfully 
defended from him by their mother! 

The wolverine makes a specialty of devilish and uncanny 
cunning and energy in destroying the property of man. Trap- 
pers have told us that when a wolverine invades a trapper's 
cabin in his absence, he destroys very nearly its entire contents. 
The food that he can neither eat nor carry away he defiles in 
such a manner that the hungriest man is unable to eat it. This 
seems to be a trait of this species only, — among wild animals; 
but during the recent war it was asserted that similar acts 
were committed by soldiers in the captured and occupied villas 
of northern France. 

The domestication of the dog has developed a new type of 
animal criminal. The sheep-killing dog is in a class by himself. 
The wild dog hunts in the broad light of day, often ru nning down 


game by the relay system. The sheep-killing dog is a cunning 
night assassin, a deceiver of his master, a shrewd hider of crim- 
inal evidence, a sanctimonious h3rpocrite by day but a bloody- 
minded murderer under cover of darkness. Sometimes his 
cunning is almost beyond belief. Now, can anyone tell us how 
much of this particular evolution is due to the influence of 
Man upon Dog through a hundred generations of captivity and 
association? Has the dog learned from man the science of 
moral banditry, the best methods for the concealment of evi- 
dence, and how to dissemble? 

Elsewhere a chapter is devoted to the crimes of wild animals; 
but the great majority of the cases cited were foimd among 
captive animals, where abnormal conditions produced excep- 
tional results. The crimes of captive animals are many, but 
the crimes of free wild animals are comparatively few. When- 
ever we disturb the delicate and precise balance of nature we 
may expect abnormal results. 



THROUGH a thousand generations of breeding and 
living under natural conditions, and of self-maintenance 
against enemies and evil conditions, the wild flocks and 
herds of beasts and birds have evolved a short code of com- 
munity laws that make for their own continued existence. 

And they do more than that. When free from the evil 
influences of man, those flock-and-herd laws promote, and 
actually produce, peace, prosperity and happiness. This is no 
fantastic theory of the friends of animals. It is a fact, just as 
evident to the thinking mind as the presence of the sun at high 

The first wild birds and quadrupeds found themselves beset 
by climatic conditions of various degrees and kinds of rigor 
and destructive power. In the torrid zone it took the form 
of excessive rain and humidity, excessive heat, or excessive 
dryness and aridity. In the temperate and frigid zones, life 
was a seasonal battle with bitter cold, torrents of cold rain in 
early winter or spring, devastating sleet, and deep snow and ice 
that left no room for argument. 

At the same time, the species that were not predatory foimd 
themselves surrounded by fangs and claws, and the never- 
ending hunger of their owners. The air, the earth and the 
waters swarmed with predatory animals, great and small, ever 
seeking for the herbivorous and granivorous species, and 
preferably those that were least able to fight or to flee. The 
La Brea fossil beds at Los Angeles, wherein a hospitable lake 
of warm asphalt conserved skeletal remains of vertebrates 
to an extent and perfection quite unparalleled, have revealed 



some very remarkable conditions. The enormous output, up 
to date, of skulls of huge lions, wolves, sabre-toothed tigers, 
bears and other predatory animals, shows, for once, just what 
the camels, llamas, deer, bison and mammoths of those days 
had to do, to be, and to suffer in order to survive. 

With the aid of a little serious study, it is by no means diffi- 
cult to recognize the hard laws that have enabled the elephant, 
bison, sheep, goats, deer, antelope, gazelles, fur-seal, walrus and 
others to survive and increase. From the wild animal herds 
and bird flocks that we have seen and personally known, we 
know what their laws are, and can set them down in the order of 
their evolution and importance. 

The Firet Law. There shall be no fighting in the family, 
the herd or the species, at any other time than in the mating season; 
and then only between adult males who fight for herd leadership. 

The destructiveness of intertribal warfare, either organized 
or desultory, must have been recognized in Jurassic times, 
millions of years ago, by the reptiles of that period. Through- 
out the animal kingdom below man the blessings of peace now 
are thoroughly known. This first law is obeyed by all species 
save man. We doubt whether all the testimony of the rocks 
added together can show that one wild species of vertebrate 
life ever really was exterminated by another species, not even 
excepting the predatory species which lived by killing. 

No one (so far as we know) has charged that the lions, or 
the tigers, the bears, the orcas, the eagles or the owls have ever 
obliterated a species during historic times. It was the swine 
of civilization, transplanted by human agencies, that ex- 
terminated the dodo on the Island of Mauritius; and it was men, 
not birds of prey, who swept off the earth the great auk, the 
passenger pigeon and a dozen other bird species. 

The Second Law. The strong members of a Hock or herd 
shall not bully nor oppress the weak. 

This law, constantly broken by degenerate and vicious men, 
women and children, very rarely is broken in a free wild herd 


or flock. In the observance of this fundamental law, born of 
ethics and expediency, mankind is far behind the wild animals. 
It would serve a good purpose if the criminologists and the 
alienists would figure out the approximate proportion of the 
human species now living that bullies and maltreats and 
oppresses the weak and the defenseless. At this moment 
"society" in the United States is in a state of thoroughly im- 
becilic defenselessness against the new type of predatory 
savages known as "bandits." 

The Third Law. During the annual period of motherhood, 
loth prospective and actual, mothers must be held safe from all 
forms of molestation; and their young shall in no manner be inter- 
fered with. 

For the perpetuation of a family, a clan or a species, the pro- 
tection of the mothers, and their weak and helpless offspring is 
a necessity recognized by even the dullest vertebrate animals. 
As birth-time or nesting-time approaches the wild flocks and 
herds universally permit the potential mothers to seek seclusion, 
and to work out their respective problems according to their 
own judgment and the means at their command. The coming 
mother looks for a spot that will afford (i) a secure hiding- 
place, (2) the best available shelter from inclement weather, 
(3) accessible food and water, and (4) cover or other protection 
for her young. 

During this period the males often herd together, and they 
serve a protective function by attracting to themselves the 
attacks of their enemies. For the mothers, the bearing time 
is a truce time. There are fox-hunters who roundly assert that 
in spring fox hounds have been known to refuse to attack and 
kill foxes about to become mothers. 

The Fourth Law. In union there is strength; in separa- 
tion there is weakness; and the solitary animal is in the greatest 

It was the wild species of mammals and birds who learned 
and most diligently observed this law who became individually 


the most numerous. A hundred pairs of eyes, a hundred 
noses and a hundred pairs of listening ears increase about ten 
times the protection of the single individual against surprise 
attacks. The solitary elephant, bison, sheep or goat is far 
easier to stalk and approach than a herd, or a herd member. 
A wolf pack can attack and kill even the strongest solitary 
musk-ox, bison or caribou, but the homed herd is invincible. 
A lynx can pull down and kill a single mountain sheep ram, but 
even the mountain lion does not care to attack a herd of sheep. 
It is due solely to the beneficent results of this clear precept, 
and the law of defensive union, that any baboons are today 
alive in Africa. 

The grizzly bear loves mountain-goat meat; but he does 
not love to have his inner tube punctured by the deadly little 
black skewers on the head of a billy. It is the Mountain 
Goats' Protective Union that condemns the silvertip grizzly 
to laborious digging for humble little ground-squirrels, instead of 
killing goats for a living. The rogue elephant who wHl not 
behave himself in the herd, and will not live up to the herd 
law, is expelled; and after that takes place his wicked race is 
very soon ended by a high-power bullet, about calibre .26. The 
last one brought to my notice was overtaken by Charles 
Theobald, State Shikaree of Mysore, in a Ford automobile; 
and the car outlived the elephant. 

The Fifth Law. Absolute obedience to herd leaders and 
parents is essential to the safety of the herd and of the individualf 
and this obedience must be prompt and thorough. 

Whenever the affairs of grown men and women are domi- 
nated by ignorant, inexperienced and rash juniors, look out for 
trouble; for as surely as the sun continues to shine, it will come. 
With an acquaintance that comprehends many species of wild 
quadrupeds and birds, I do not recall even one herd or flock 
that I have seen led by its young members. There are no 
young spendthrifts among the wild animals. For them, youth- 
ful folly' is too expensive to be tolerated. The older members 


of the clan are responsible for its safety, and therefore do they 
demand obedience to their orders. They have their commands , 
and they have a sign language by which they convey them in 
terms that are silent but unmistakable. They order "Halt," 
and the herd stops, at once. At the command "Attention," 
each herd member "freezes" where he stands, and intently 
looks, listens and scents the air. At the order "Feed at will," 
the tension slowly relaxes; but if the order is "Fly!" the 
whole herd is off in a body, as if propelled by one mind and one 

My first knowledge of this law of the flock came down to me 
from the blue ether when I first saw, in my boyhood, a V- 
shaped flock of Canada geese cleaving the sky with straight 
and steady flight, and perfect alignment. Even in my bojrish 
mind I realized that the well-ordered progress of the wild geese 
was in obedience to Intelligence and Flock Law. Later on, 
X saw on the Jersey sands the mechanical sweeps and curves 
and doubles of flying flocks of sandpipers and sanderlings, as 
absolutely perfect in obedience to their leaders as the slats of a 
Venetian blind. 

A herd of about thirty elephants, under the influence of a 
still alarm and sign signals, once vanished from the brush in 
front of me so quickly and so silently that it seemed uncanny. 
One single note of command from a gibbon troop leader is 
sufficient to set the whole company in instant motion, fleeing 
at speed and in good order, with not a sound save the swish of 
the small branches that serve as the rungs of their ladder of 

In the actual practice of herd leadership in species of rumi- 
nant animals, the largest and most spectacular bull elk or bison 
is not always the leader. Frequently it has been observed 
that a wise old cow is the actual leader and director of the 
herd, and that "what she says, goes." This was particularly 
remarked to me by James McNaney during the course of our 
"last buffalo hunt" in Montana, in 1886. From 1880 to 1884 


he had been a mighty buffalo-hunter, for hides. He stated 
that whenever as a still-hunter he got "a stand on a bunch," 
and began to shoot, slowly and patiently, so as not to alarm 
the stand, whenever a buffalo took alarm and attempted to 
lead away the bunch, usually it proved to be a wise old cow. 
The bulls seemed too careless to take notice of the firing and 
try to lead away from it. 

The Sixth Law. 0/ food and territory, the weak shall 
have their share. 

While this law is binding upon all the members of a wild 
flock, a herd, a clan or a species, outside of species limits it may 
become null and void; though in actual practice I think that 
this rarely occurs. Among the hoofed animals; the seals and 
sea-lions; the apes, baboons and monkeys, and the kangaroos, 
the food that is available to a herd is common to all its members. 
We can not recall an instance of a species attempting to dis- 
possess and evict another species, though it must be that many 
such have occurred. In the game-laden plains of eastern 
Africa, half a dozen species, such as kongonis, sable antelopes, 
gazelles and zebras, often have been observed in. one land- 
scape, with no fighting visible. 

With aU but the predatory wild animals and man, the 
prevailing disposition is to live, and let live. One of the few 
recorded murders of young animals by an old one of the same 
species concerned the wanton killing of two polar bear cubs in 
northern Franz Joseph Land, as observed by Nansen. 

The Seventh Law. Man is the deadliest enemy of all the 
wild creatures; and the instant a man appears the whole herd 
must fiy from him, fast and far. 

In some of the regions to which man and his death-dealing 
influence have not penetrated, this law is not yet on the statute 
books of the jungle and the wilderness. Sir Ernest Shacldeton 
and Captain Scott found it unknown to the giant penguins and 
sea leopards of the Antarctic Continent. I have seen a few 
flocks and herds by whom the law was either unknown, or 


forgotten; but the total number is a small one. There was a 
herd of mountain sheep on Pinacate Peak, a big flock of sage 
grouse in Montana, various flocks of ptarmigan on the summits 
of the Elk River Moimtains, British Columbia, — and out of a 
long list of occurrences that is all I will now recall. 

It is fairly common for the members of a vast assemblage of 
animals, like the bison, barren-ground caribou, fur seal, and 
sea birds on their nesting cliffs, to assume such security from 
their numbers as to ignore man; and all such cases are highly 
interesting manifestations of the influence of the fourth law 
when carried out to six decimal places. 

The Eighth and Last Law. Whenever in a given spot 
all men cease to Mil us, there may we accept sanctuary and dwell 
in peace. 

This law comes as Amendment I to the original Constitution 
of the Animal Kingdom. The quick intelligence of wild animals 
in recognizing a new sanctuary, and in adopting it unreservedly 
and thankfully as their own territory, is to all friends of wild 
life a source of wonder and delight. With their own eyes 
Americans have seen the effects of sanctuary-making upon 
bison, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain sheep, 
mountain goat, prong-homed antelope, grizzly and black 
bears, beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, sage grouse, 
quail, wild ducks and geese, swans, pelicans brown and white, 
and literally hundreds of species of smaller birds of half a 
dozen orders. 

In view of this magnificent and continent-wide manifes- 
tation of discovery, new thought and original conclusion, let 
no man tell us that the wild birds and quadrupeds "do not 
think" and "can not reason." 

The Exceptions of Captivity. When wild animals come 
into captivity, a few individuals develop and reveal their worst 
traits of character, and much latent wickedness comes to the 
surface. A small percentage of individuals become mean and 
lawless, and a still smaller number show criminal instincts. 


These Bolshevistic individuals commit misdemeanors and 
crimes such as are unknown in the wild state. One male 
ruminant out of perhaps fifty will turn murderer, and kill a 
female or a fawn, entirely contrary to the herd law; and at long 
intervals a male predatory animal kills his mate or young. 

Occasionally captivity warps wild animal or wild bird 
character quite out of shape, though it is a satisfaction to know 
that the total proportion of those so affected is very smaU. 
Long and close confinement in a prison-like home, filled with 
more daily cares and worries than any animal cage has of iron 
bars, has sent many a human wife and mother to an insane 
asylum; but the super-humanitarians who rail out at the 
existence of zoological parks and zoos are troubled by that 
not at all. 



I APPROACH this subject with a feeling of satisfac- 
- tion; but I would not like to state the number of hours 
that I have spent in watching the play of our wild animals. 

Out in the wilds, where the bears, sheep and goats live and 
thrive, the outdoorsmen see comparatively few wild animals 
at play. No matter what the season, the dangers of the 
wilderness and mountain summit remain the same. When 
kids and lambs are young, the eaglets are hungriest, and their 
mothers are most determined in their hunting. After Sep- 
tember I, the deadly still-hunters are out, and strained watch- 
fulness is the unvarying rule, from dawn until dark. 

Out in the wilds, it is the moving animal that instantly 
catches every hostile eye within visual range. A white goat 
kid vigorously gamboling on the bare rocks would attract all 
the golden eagles, hunters, trappers and Indians within a radius 
of two miles. It is the rule that kids, fawns and lambs must 
lie low and keep still, to avoid attracting deadly enemies. On 
the bare summits, play can be indulged in only at great risk. 
Generations of persecution have implanted in the brain of the 
ruminant baby the commanding instinct to fold up its long 
legs, neatly and compactly, furl its ears along its neck, and closely 
lie for hours against a rock or a log. During daylight hours 
they must literally hug the ground. Silence and inactivity is 
the first price that all young animals in the wilds pay for their 
lives. It is only in the safe shelter of captivity, or man-made 
sanctuaries, that they are free to play. 

In the comfortable security of the "zoo" all the wild condi- 
tions are changed. The restraints of fear are off, and every 



animal is free to act as joyous as it feels. Here we see things 
that men neuer see in the wilds! If any Rocky Mountain bear 
hunter should ever see bear cubs or full-grown bears wrestling 
and carrjdng on as they do here, he would say that they were 
plumb crazy! 

Of all our wild animals, not even excepting the apes and 
monkeys, our young bears are the most persistently plajrful. 
In fact, I believe that when properly caged and tended, bears 
under eight years of age are the most joyous and pla3rful of all 
wild animals. We have given our bears smooth and spacious 
yards floored with concrete, with a deep pool in the centre of 
each, and great possibilities in climbing upon rocks high and low. 
The top of each sleeping den is a spacious balcony with a 
smooth floor. The facilities for bear wrestling and skylarking 
are perfect, and there are no offensive uneven floors nor dead 
stone walls to annoy or discourage any bear. They can look 
at each other through the entire series of cages and there is no 
chance whatever for a bear to feel lonesome. We put just as 
many individuals into each cage as we think the traffic will 
stand; and sometimes as many as six young bears are reared 

Now, all these conditions promote good spirits, playfulness, 
and the general enjoyment of life. Any one who thinks that 
our bears are not far happier than those that are in the wilds and 
exposed to enemies, hunger and cold, should pause and con- 

Our bear cubs begin to play just as soon as they emerge from 
their natal den, in March or April, and they keep it up until 
they are six or seven years of age, — or longer ! Our visitors take 
the plaj^ulness of small cubs as a matter of course, but the 
clumsy and ridiculous postures and antics of fat-paunched full- 
grown bears are irresistibly funny. Really, there are times 
when it seems as if the roars of laughter from the watching crowd 
stimulates wrestling bears to further efforts. On October 28, 
1921, about seventy boys stood in front of and alongside the 


den of two Kluane grizzly cubs and shouted for neariy half an 
hour in approval and admiration of the rapid and rough play 
of those cubs. 

The play of bears, young or middle-aged, consists in boxing, 
catch-as-catch-can wrestling, and chasing each other to and fro. 
Cubs begin to spar as soon as they are old enough to stand 
erect on their hind feet. They take their distance as naturally 
as prize-fighters, and they strike, parry and dodge just as men 
do. They handle their front feet with far more dexterity and 
precision than boys six years of age. 

Boxing bears always strike for the head, and bite to seize 
the cheek of the opponent. In biting, mouth meets mouth, in 
defense as well as attack. When a biting bear makes a suc- 
cessful pass and finally succeeds in getting a firm toothhold on 
the cheek of his opponent, the party of the second part promptly 
throws himself prone upon the ground, and with four free feet 
concentrated upon the head of the other bear forces him to let 
go. This movement, and the four big, flat foot soles coming up 
into action is, in large bears, a very laughable spectacle, and 
generally produces a roar. 

Wrestling bears roll over and over on the ground, clawing 
and biting, until one scrambles up, and either makes a new 
attack or rushes away. 

Bears love to chase one another, and be chased; and in this 
form of skylarking they raise a whirlwind of activity which 
leads all around the floor, up to the balcony and along the length 
of it, and plunges down at. the other end. Often a bear that is 
chased will fling himself into the bathing pool, with a tre- 
mendous splash, quickly scramble out again and rush off anew 
in a swirl of fl3dng water. 

The two big male polar bears that came to us from the 
William Hagenbeck group were very fond of playing and wrest- 
ling in the water of their swimming pool. Often they kept 
up that aquatic skylarking for two hours at a stretch, and by 
this constant claw work upon each other's pelts they kept their 


coats of hair so thinned down that we had to explain them. 
One bear had a very spectacular swimming trick. He would 
swim across the pool until his front feet touched the side, 
then he would throw himself over backwards, put his hind 
feet against the rock wall, and with a final shove send himself 
floating gracefully on his back across to the other side. 

Pla3rful bears are much given to plajring tricks, and teasing 
each other. A bear sleeping out in the open den is regarded as 
a proper subject for hectoring, by a sudden bite or cuff, or a 
general assault. It is natural to expect that wrestling bears 
will frequently become angry and fight; but such is not the case. 
This often happens with boys and men, but bears play the game 
consistently to the end. I can not recall a single instance of a 
real bear fight as the resiilt of a wrestling or boxing match; 
and may all boys take note of this good example from the bear 

Next to the bears, the apes and monkeys are our most play- 
ful animals. Here, also, it is the young and the half grown 
members of the company that are most active in play. Fully 
mature animals are too sedate, or too heavy, for the frivolities 
of youth. A well-matched pair of young chimpanzees will 
wrestle and play longer and harder than the young of any other 
primate species known to me. It is important to cage together 
only young apes of equal size and strength, for if there is any 
marked disparity in size, the larger and stronger animal will 
wear out the strength of its smaller cage-mate, and impair its 

In playing, young chimps, orangs or monkeys seize each 
other and wrestle, fall, and roll over and over, indefinitely. 
They make great pretenses of biting each other, but it is all 
make-believe. My favorite orang-utan pet in Borneo loved to 
play at biting me, but whenever the pressure became too strong 
I would say chidingly, "Ah! Ah!" and his jaws would instantly 
relax. He loved to butt me in the chest with his head, make 
wry faces, and make funny noises with his lips. I tried to teach 


him "cat's cradle" but it was too much for him. His clumsy 
fingers could not manage it. 

One of our brightest chimpanzees, named Baldy, was much 
given to hectoring his female cage-mate, for sport. What 
he regarded as his best joke was destroying her bed. Many 
times over, after she had laboriously carried straw up to the 
balcony, carefully made up a nice, soft, circular bed for herself, 
and settled down upon it for a well-earned rest, Baldy would 
silently climb up to her level, suddenly fling himself upon her 
as she lay, and with all four of his arms and legs violently 
working, the nest would be torn to pieces and scattered and the 
lady orang rudely pulled about. Then Baldy would joyously 
swing down to the lower level, settle himself demurely at the 
front of the cage, and with a placid face and innocent, far-away 
expression in his eyes gaze at the crowd. There was nothing 
lacking but a mischievous wink of one eye. 

Whenever his cage-mate selected a particularly long and 
perfect straw and placed it crosswise in her mouth, Baldy would 
steal up behind her and gleefully snatch it away. 

Baldy was a bom comedian. He loved to amuse a crowd 
and make people laugh. He would go through a great trapeze 
performance of clownish and absurd gjrmnastics, and often end 
it with three or four loud smacks of his big black feet against the 
wall. This was accomplished by violent kicking backwards. 
His dancing and up-and-down jumping always made visitors 
laugh, after which he would joyously give his piercing "Wah- 
hoo" shout of triumph. A Sioux Indian squaw dances by jump- 
ing up and down, but her performance is lifeless in comparison. 

No vaudeville burlesque dancer ever cut a funnier monkey 
shine than the up-and-down high- jump dance and floor-slapping 
act of our Boma chimpanzee (1921). Boma offers this when- 
ever he becomes especially desirous of entertaining a party of 
distinguished visitors. In stiff dancing posture, he leaps high 
in the air, precisely like a great black jumping-jack straight 
from Dante's Inferno. 


Orangs love to turn somersaults, and some individuals 
are so persistent about it as to wear the hair off their backs, 
disfigure their beauty, and disgust their keepers. 

In the chapter on "Mental Traits of the Gorilla" a descrip- 
tion is given of the play of Major Penny's wonderful John 

When many captive monkeys are kept together in one large 
cage containing gymnastic properties, many species develop 
humor, and indulge in play of many kinds. They remind me of 
a group of well-fed and boisterous small boys who must skylark 
or "bust." From morning until night they pull each other's 
tails, wrestle and roll, steal each other's playthings, and wildly 
chase each other to and fro. There is no end of chattering, 
and screeching, and funny facial grimaces. A writer in Life 
once said that the sexes of monkeys can be distinguished by the 
fact that " the females chatter twice as fast as the males," but 
I am sure that many ladies will dispute that statement. 

In a company of mixed monkeys, or a mixed company of 
monkeys, a timid and fearsome individual is often made the 
butt of practical jokes by other monkeys who recognize its 
weakness. And who has not seen the same trait revealed in 
crowds of boys? 

But we can linger no longer with the Primates. 

Who has not seen sqiiirrels at play? Once seen, such an 
incident is not soon forgotten. I have seen gray, fox and red 
squirrels engage in highly interesting performances. The gray 
squirrel is stately and beautiful in its play, but the red squirrel 
is amazing in its elaborateness of method. I have seen a pair 
of those mischief-makers perform low down on the trunk of a 
huge old virgin white oak tree, where the holding was good, 
and work out a program almost beyond belief. They raced 
and chased to and fro, up, down and across, in circles, triangles, 
parabolas and rectangles, until it was fairly bewildering. 
Really, they seemed to move just as freely and certainly on 


the tree-trunk as if they were on the ground, with no such thing 
in sight as the law of gravitation. 

It seems to me that the gray squirrel barks and the red 
squirrel chatters, scolds, and at times swears, chiefly for the 
fun of hearing himself make a noise. In the red squirrel it is 
impudent and defiant; and usually you hear it near your camp, 
or in your own grounds, where the rascals know that they will 
not be shot. 

The playful spirit seems to be inherent in the young of all 
the Felidae. The playfulness of lion, tiger, leopard and puma 
cubs is irresistibly pleasing; and it is worth while to rear 
domestic kittens in order to watch their playful antics. 

I have been assured by men who seemed to know, that wolf 
and fox cubs silently play in front of their home dens, when 
well screened from view, just as domestic dog puppies do; and 
what on earth can beat the playfulness of puppies of the right 
kind, whose parents have given them red blood instead of fat 
as their inheritance. Interesting books might be written about 
the play of dogs alone. 

The play of the otter, in sliding down a long and steep 
toboggan slide of wet and slippery earth to a water plunge at 
the bottom, is well known to trappers, hunters, and a few 
naturalists. It is quite celebrated, and is on record in many 
places. I have seen c\tter slides, but never had the good luck 
to see one in use. The otters indulge in this very genuine 
sport with just as much interest and zest as boys develop in 
coasting over ice and snow with their sleds. 

Here at the Zoological Park, young animals of a number 
of species amuse themselves in the few ways that are open to 
them. It is a common thing for fawns and calves of various 
kinds to butt their mothers, just for fun. A more common form 
of infantile ruminant sport is racing and jumping. Now and 
then we see a red buffalo calf three or four months old suddenly 
begin a speU of running for amusement, in the pure exuberance 


of health and good living. A calf will choose a long open 
course, usually up and down a gentle slope, and for two hundred 
feet or more race madly to and fro for a dozen laps, with tail 
stiflly and very absurdly held aloft. Of course men and beasts 
all pause to look at such performances, and at the finish the 
panting and perspiring calf halts and gazes about with a con- 
scious air of pride. All this is deliberate "showing off," just 
such as small boys frequently engage in. 

Elk fawns, and more rarely deer fawns, also occasionally 
indulge in similar performances. Often an adult female 
deer develops the same trait. One of our female Eld's deer 
annually engages in a series of spring runs. We have seen 
her race the full length of her corral, up and down, over a two 
hundred foot course, at really break-neck speed, and keep it up 
until her tongue hung out. 

Years ago, in the golden days, I was so lucky as to see 
several times wonderful dances of fiocks of saras cranes on the 
low sandy islets in the River Jumna, northern India, just 
below Etawah. It was like this: While the birds are idly 
stepping about, apropos of nothing at all, one suddenly flaps 
his long wings several times in succession, another jumps 
straight up in the air for a yard or so, and presto! with one 
accord the whole flock is galvanized into action. They throw 
aside their dignity, and real fun begins. Some stand still, 
heads high up, and flap their wings many times. Others leap 
in the air, straight up and down, one jump after another, as 
high as they can go. Others run about bobbing and bowing, 
and elaborately courtesjdng to each other with half opened 
wings, breasts low down and their tails high in the air, cutting 
very ridiculous figures. 

In springtime in the Zoological Park we often see similar 
exhibitions of crane play in our large crane paddock. A par- 
ticularly joyous bird takes a fit of running with spread wings, 
to and fro, many times over, and usually one bird thus per- 
forming inspires another, probably of his own kind, to join in 


the game. The other cranes look on admiringly and sometimes 
a spectator shrilly trumpets his approval. 

In his new book, "The Friendly Arctic," Mr. Vilhjalmur 
Stefansson records an interesting example of play indulged 
in jointly by a frivolous arctic fox and eight yearling barren- 
ground caribou. It was a game of tag, or its wild equivalent. 
The fox ran into and through the group of caribou fawns, 
which gave chase and tried to catch the fox, but in vain. At last 
the fawns gave up the chase, returned to their original position, 
and came to parade rest. Then back came the fox. Again 
it scurried through the group in a most tantalizing manner, 
which soon provoked the fawns to chase the fox anew. At the 
end of this inning the caribou again abandoned the chase, 
whereupon the fox went off to attend to other affairs. 

On the whole, the play of wild animals is a large field and 
no writer will exhaust it with one chapter. Very sincerely 
do we wish that at least one of the many romance writers who 
are so industriously inventing wild-animal blood-and-thunder 
stories would do more work with his eyes and less with 
his imagination. 



EITHER in wild animals or tame men, courage is the 
moral impulse that impels an individual to fight or to 
venture at the risk of bodily harm. Like Theodore 
Roosevelt, the truly courageous individual engages his ad- 
versary without stopping to consider the possible consequences 
to himself. The timid man shrinks from the onset while he 
takes counsel of his fears, and reflects that "It may injure me in 
my business," or that "It may hurt my standing;" and in the 
end he becomes a slacker. 

Among the mental traits and passions of wild creatures, a 
quantitative and qualitative analysis of courage becomes a 
highly interesting study. We can easily fall into the error of 
considering that fighting is the all-in-all measure of courage; 
which very often is far from being true. The mother quail that 
pretends to be wounded and feigns helplessness in order to draw 
hostile attention unto herself and away from her young, thereby 
displays courage of a high order. No quail unburdened by a 
helpless brood requiring her protection ever dreams of taking 
such risks. The gray gibbons of Borneo, who quite success- 
fully made their escape from us, but promptly returned close 
up to my party in response to the S. O. S. cries of a captured 
baby gibbon, displayed the sublime courage of parental affec- 
tion, and of desperation. Wary, timid and fearfully afraid of 
man, at the first sight of a biped they swing away. At the first 
roar of a gun they literally fly down hill through the treetops, 
and vanish in a wild panic. And yet, the leading members of 
that troop halted and swiftly came back, piercing the gloom 
and silence of the forest with their shrill cries of mingled en- 



couragement and protest. It was quite as courageous and 
heroic as the act of a father who rushes into a burning building 
to save his child, at the imminent risk of his own life. 

The animal world has its full share of heroes. Also, it has 
its complement of pugilists and bullies, its cowards and its 

Few indeed are the wild creatures that fight gratuitously, 
or attack other animals without cause. If a fight occurs, look 
for the motive. The wild creatures know that peace promotes 
happiness and long life. Now, of all wild quadrupeds, it is 
probable that the African baboons are pound for pound the 
most pugnacious, and the quickest on the draw. The old male 
baboon in his prime wiU fight anything that threatens his troop, 
literally at the drop of a hat. But there is method in his 
madness. He and his wives and children dwell on the ground in 
lands literally reeking with fangs and claws. He has to confront 
ithe lion, leopard, wild dog and hyena, and make good his right 
to live. No wonder, then, that his temper is hot, his voice 
raucous and blood-curdling; his canines fearfully long and 
sh^rp, and his savage yell of warning sufficient to keep even 
thejking of beasts off his grass. 

Once I saw two baboons fight. We had two huge and 
splfendid adult male gelada baboons, from Abyssinia. They 
were kept separate, but in adjoining cages; and the time came 
when we needed one of those cages for another distinguished 
arrival. We decided to try the rather hazardous eyperiment 
of herding those two geladas together. 

Accordingly, we first opened the. doors to both outside cages, 
to afford for the moment a free circulation of baboons, and then 
we opened the partition door. Instantly the two animals 
rushed together in raging combat. With a fierce grip each 
seized the other by the left cheek; and then began a baboon cy- 
clone. They spun around on their axis, they rolled over and 
over on the floor, and they waltzed in speechless rage over every 
foot of those two cages. Strange to say, beyond coughing and 


gasping they made no sounds. Never before had we witnessed 
such a fearsome exhibition of insane hatred and rage. 

As soon as the horrified spectators could bring it about, the 
wild fighters were separated; and strange to say, neither of 
them was seriously injured. It was a drawn battle. 

It is quite difficxdt to weigh and measure the independent 
and abstract courage inherent in any wild animal species. All 
that can be done is to grope after the truth. On this subject 
there can be almost as many different opinions as there are 
species of wild animals. 

What animal will go farthest in daring and defjdng man, 
even the man with a gun, in foraging for food? 

Unquestionably and indisputably, the lion. This is no idle 
repetition of an old belief, or tradition. It is a fact; and we say 
this quite mindful of the records made by the grizzly bear, 
the Alaskan brown bear, the tiger, the leopard and the jaguar. 

"The Man-Eaters of Tsavo" opened up a strange and new 
chapter in the life history of the savage lion. That truthful 
record of an astounding series of events showed the lion in an 
attitude of permanent aggression, backed by amazing and 
persistent courage. For several months in that rude con- 
struction camp on the arid bank of the Tsavo River, where a 
railway bridge was being constructed on the famous Uganda 
Railway line of British East Africa, lions and men struggled 
mightily and fought with each other, with living men as the 
stakes of victory. The book written by Col. J. H. Patterson, 
under the title mentioned above, tells a plain and simple story 
of the nightly onslaughts of the lions, the tragedies suffered 
from them, the constant, the desperate though often ill-con- 
sidered efforts of the white engineers to protect the terrorized 
black laborers, and finally the death of the man-eaters. During 
a series of battles lasting four long months the two Uons 
killed and carried off a total of twenty-eight men! How many 
natives were killed and not reported never will be known. The 
most hair-raising episode of all had a comedy touch, and fortu- 


nately it did not quite end in a tragedy. This is what hap- 
pened : 

Col. Patterson and his staff decided to try to catch the 
boldest of the lions in a trap baited with a living man. Accord- 
ingly a two-room trap was built, one room to hold and protect 
the man-bait, the other to catch and hold the lion. A very 
courageous native consented to be "it," and he was put in place 
and fastened up. 

The lion came on schedule time, he found the live bait, 
boldly entered the trap to seize it, and the dropping door fell 
as advertised. When the lion found himself caught, did his 
capture trouble him? Not in the least. Instead of starting 
in to tear his way out he decided to postpone his escape until 
he had torn down the partition and eaten the man! So at the 
partition he went, with teeth and claws. 

In mortal terror the live bait yelled for succor. In "the 
last analysis" the man was saved from the lion, but the lion 
joyously tore his way out and escaped without a scratch. So 
far from being daunted by this divertisement he continued 
his man-killing industry, quite as usual. 

Now, the salient points of the man-eaters of Tsavo consist 
of the unquenchable courage of the two lions, and their per- 
sistent defiance of white men armed with rifles. I am sure that 
there is nowhere in existence another record of wild-animal 
courage equal to this, and the truthfulness of it is quite 
beyond question. 

The annals of African travel and exploration contain in- 
stances innumerable of the unparalleled courage of the lion in 
taking what he wants when he wants it. 

The Grizzly Bear's Courage. As a subject, this is a 
hazardous risk, because so many men are able to tell all about 
it. Judging from reliable records of the ways and means of 
the grizzly bear, I think we must award the second prize for 
courage to "Old Ephraim." The list of his exploits in scaring 
pioneers, in attacking hunters, in robbing camps, and finally in 


bear-handling and almost killing two guides in the Yellowstone 
Park, is long and thrilUng. The record reaches back to the 
days of Lewis and Clark, who related many wild adventures 
with bears. The grizzlies of their day were very courageous, but 
even then they were not greatly given to attacking men quite 
unprovoked! In those days of bow-and-arrow Indians, and 
of white men armed only with ineffective muzzle-loading pea 
rifles, using only weak black powder, the grizzlies had an even 
chance with their human adversaries, and sometimes they took 
first money. In those days the courage of the grizzly was at 
its highest peak; and it was then conceded by all frontiersmen 
that the grizzly was thoroughly courageous, and always ready 
to fight. In the light of subsequent history, and in order to 
be just to the grizzly, we claim that his fighting was in self 
defense, for even in those days the unwounded bear preferred to 
run rather than to fight unnecessarily. 

The rise of the high-power, long-range repeating rifle has 
made the grizzly bear a different animal from what he was in 
the days of Lewis and Clark. He has learned, thoroughly, the 
supreme deadliness of man's new weapons, and he knows that 
he is no longer able to meet men on even terms. Consequently, 
he runs, he hides, he avoids man, everywhere save in the Yel- 
lowstone Park, where he has found out that firearms are pro- 
hibited. There he has broken the truce so often that his 
offenses have had to be met with stern disciplinary measures 
that have made for the safety of tourists and guides. 

Once I saw an amusing small incident. Be it known that 
when a new black bear cub is introduced to a den of its peers, 
the newcomer shrinks in fright, and cowers, and takes its place 
right humbly. But species alter cases. Once when we re- 
ceived an eight-months-old grizzly cub we turned it loose in a 
big den that contained five black bear cubs a year older than 
itself. But did the grizzly cub cower and shrink? By no man- 
ner of means. With head fully erect, it marched calmly to the 
centre of the den, and with serene confidence gave the other 
cubs the once-over with an air that plainly said; 


"/'w a grizzly! I'm here, and I've come to stay. Do I 
hear any objections?" 

Quite as if in answer to the challenge, an eighteen-months- 
old black bear presently sidled up and made a trial blow at the 
grizzly's head. Instantly the grizzly cub's right arm shot out a 
well-delivered blow that sent the black one scurrjang away in a 
panic, and perceptibly cleared the atmosphere. That cub had 
■ grizzly-bear courage and confidence; that was all. 

There are a number of American sportsmen who esteem 
the Cape buffalo as the most aggressive and dangerous wild 
animal in eastern Africa. He is so courageous and so persis- 
tently bold that he is much given to l)dng in wait for hunters and 
attacking with real fury. The high grass of his svramps is very 
helpful to him as a means of defense. In our National Col- 
lection of Heads and Horns there is a huge buffalo head (for 
years the world's highest record) that tells the story of a near 
tragedy. The brother of Mr. F. H. Barber, of South Africa, 
fired at the animal, but failed to stop it. His gun jammed, and 
the charging beast was almost in the act of killing him when F. 
H. Barber fired without pausing to take aim. His lucky bullet 
knocked a piece out of the buffalo's left horn, dazed the animal 
for a moment, and afforded time for the shot that killed the 
mighty bull. 

The leopard is usually a vicious beast. When brought 
to bay it fights with great fury and success. The black leopard 
is supremely vicious and intractable. Nearly all leopards hate 
training, and I have seen two or three leopard "acts" that were 
nerve-racking to witness because of the dear determination of 
all the animals to kill their trainer at the first opportunity. 

The status of the big Alaskan brown bear has already been 
referred to in terms that may stand as an estimate of its courage. 
Really, it is now in the same mental state as the grizzly bears 
of the days of Lewis and Clark, and the surplus must be shot to 
admonish the survivors and protect the rights of man. 

The Rage of a Wild Bull Elk. One of the most re- 
markable cases of rage, resentment and fighting courage in a 


newly captured wild animal occurred near Buttonwillow, 
California, in November 1904, and is very graphically described 
by Dr. C. Hart Merriam in the Scientific Monthly for November 
192 1. The story concerns the leader of a band of the small 
California Valley Elk {Cervus nannodes) which it was desired 
to transport to Sequoia Park, for permanent preservation. 

The buU refused to be driven to the corral for capture, so 
he was roped, thrown, hog-tied and hauled six miles on a wagon. 
This indignity greatly enraged the animal. At the corral he 
was liberated for the purpose of driving him through a chute 
and into a car. 

From his capture and the Jolting ride the bull was furious, 
and he refused to be driven. His first act was to gore and 
mortally wound a young elk that unfortunately found itself 
in the corral with him. Then he was roped again and his horns 
were sawn off. At first no horseman dared to ride into the 
corral to attempt to drive the animal. Finally the leader of 
the cowboys, Bill Woodruff, mounted on a wise and powerful 
horse who knew the game quite as well as his rider, rode into 
the corral with the raging elk, and attempted to drive it. 

The story of the fight that followed, of raging elk vs. horse 
and man, makes stories of Spanish bullfight's seem tame and 
commonplace, and the adventure of St. George and the dragon 
a dull affair. With the stubs of his antlers the bull charged 
the horse again and again, inflicting upon the splendid animal 
heart-rending punishment. Finally, after a fearful coi^ct, 
the wise and brave horse conquered, and the elk devil was 
forced into the car. 

After a short railway journey the elk was forced into a 
crate, — fighting at every step, — and hauled a two days' 
journey to the Park. Reduced to kicking as its sole expression 
of resentment, the animal kicked continuously for forty-eight 
hours, almost demolishing the crate. 

The final scene of this unparalleled drama of wild-animal 
rage is thus described by Dr. Merriam: 


"Then the other gates were raised, giving the bull an oppor- 
tunity to step out. For the first time since his capture he did 
what was wanted; he voluntarily crept to the rear of the wagon 
and hobbled out on the ground. Looking around for an 
enemy to attack and not seeing any, — some of the men having 
stationed themselves outside the park fence, the others on top 
of the crate, — he set out for the river, only a few rods away. 

"His courage had not forsaken him, but his strength had. 
He was no longer the proudly aggressive wild beast he had 
been. He had reached his limit. The terrible ordeal he had 
been through; the struggle incident to his capture; the rough, 
hot ride to the corral, hog-tied, on the hard floor of the dead-ax 
wagon; the outbursts of passion in the corral; the fighting and 
second roping in connection with the sawing off of his horns; 
the battle with the big horse; the ceaseless violence of his de- 
structive assaults, first in the car, then in the crate, continued 
for three days and nights, had finally undermined even his iron 
frame; so when at last he found himself free on the ground, he 
presented a truly pitiful picture. 

"With his head bent to one side and back curved, with one 
ear up and the other down, and with a dejected, helpless ex- 
pression on his face, he hobbled wearily away, barely able to 
step without falling. Slowly he made his way to the river, 
waded in, drank, crossed to the far side, staggered laboriously up 
the low bank, and lay down. The next day he was found in 
the same spot, — dead." 

The Defense of the Home and Family. Any man 
who is too cowardly to fight for his home and country deserves 
to live and die homeless and without a country. 

With this subject of courage the parental and fraternal 
affections of wild animals are inseparably linked. The defense 
of the home and family unit is the foundation of all courage, and 
of all fighting qualities in man or animals. The gospel of self- 
defense is the first plank in the platform of the home defenders. 
Obviously, the head of a family cannot permit himself to be 


knocked out, because as the chief fighter in the Home Defense 
League it is his bounden duty to preserve his strength and his 
weapons, and remain fit. 

In the days of the club, the stone axe and the flint arrow- 
head, men were few and feeble, and the wild beasts had no 
cause to fear extermination. Tooth, claw and horn were 
about as formidable as the clumsy and inadequate weapons of 
man. The wild species went on developing naturally, and some 
mighty hosts were the result. 

But gunpowder changed aU that. In the chase it gave 
weak men their innings beside the strong. Man could kill at 
long range, with little danger to himself, or even with none at 
all. And then in the wild beast world the great final struggle 
for existence began. Man's flippant phrase, — "the survival 
of the fittest," — became charged with sinister and deadly 

But for Mother Love among wild creatures, species would 
not multiply, and the earth soon would become depopulated. 
In the entire Deer Family of the world, the annual shed- 
ding of all horns is Nature's tribute to motherhood in the 
herd. A buck deer or a bull moose is a domineering master — 
so long as his antlers remain upon his head. But with the 
approach of fawn-bearing time in the herd, down they go. 
I have seen a bull elk stand with humbly lowered head, and 
gaze reproachfully upon his fallen antlers. The dehorned 
buck not only no longer hectors and drives the females, but in 
fear of hurting his tender new velvet stubs he keeps well away 
from the front hoofs of the cows. The calves grow up quite 
safe from molestation within the herd. 

It may be set down as a basic truth that all vertebrate 
animals are ready to defend their homes and their young against 
all enemies that do not utterly outclass them in size and strength. 
Of course we do not expect the pygmy to try conclusions with 
the giant, but at the same time, wild creatures have their own 
C[ueer ways of defense and counter-attack, and of matching 
superior cunning against superior force. 


But now, throughout the animal world, the fear of man is 
paramount. Nearly all the wild ones have learned it. It is 
only the enraged, the frightened or the cornered bear, lion, 
tiger or elephant that charges the Man with a Gun, and seeks to 
counter upon him with fang and claw before it drops. The 
deadly supremacy of the repeating rifle that kills big game at 
half a mile, and the pump shotgun that gets five geese out of a 
flock, are well recognized by the terrorized big game and small 
game that flies before the sweeping pestilence of machine guns 
and automobiles. 

The Fighting Canada Goose. In essaying to illustrate 
the home defense spirit, my memory goes out to one truculent 
and fearless Canada goose whose mate elected to nest in a 
horribly exposed spot on the east bank of our Wild-Fowl Pond. 
The location was an error in judgment. As soon as the nest 
was finished and the eggs laid therein, the goose took her place 
upon the collection, and the gander mounted guard. 

There were so many hostiles on the warpath that he was 
kept on the qui vive during aU daylight hours. At a radius of 
about twenty feet he drew an imaginary dead-line around the 
fanuly nest, and no bird, beast or man could pass that line 
without a fight. If any other goose, or a swan or duck, at- 
tempted to pass, the guardian gander would rush forward with 
blazing eyes, open beak, wings open for action, and with dis- 
tended neck hiss out his challenge. If the intruder failed to 
register respect, and came on, the gander would seize the 
offender with his beak, and furiously wing-beat him into flight. 
That gander was afraid of nothing, and his courage and readi- 
ness to fight all comers, all day long, caused visitors to accord 
him full recognition as a belligerent power. 

The Case of the Laughing Gull. About that same time, 
a pair of laughing gulls had the temerity to build a nest 
on the ground in the very storm centre of the great Flying 
Cage. Daily and hourly they were surrounded by a truculent 
mob of pelicans, herons, ibises, storks, egrets and ducks, the most 
of whom delighted in wrecking households. The keepers 


sided with the gulls by throwing around their nest a wire 
entanglement, with a sally-port at one side for the use of the 
beleaguered pair. 

The voice of an angry or frightened laughing gull is it owner's 
chief defense. The female sat on her nest and shrieked out her 
shrill and defiant war cry of "Kah! kah, kah, kah!" The 
male took post just outside the sally-port, where he postured 
and screamed and threatened until we wondered why he did 
not burst with superheated emotion. I am sure that never 
before did two small gulls ever raise so much racket in so short 
a time and their cage-mates must have found it rather trying. 

The gulls hatched their eggs, they reared their young suc- 
cessfully, and at last peace was restored. 

A Mother Antelope Fights Ofi an Eagle. Mr. Howard 
Eaton, of Wolf, Wyoming, once saw a female prong-horned 
antelope put up a strong and successful fight in defense of 
her newly-born fawn. A golden eagle, whose spring specialty 
is for fawns, kids and lambs, was seen to swoop swiftly down 
toward a solitary antelope that had been noticed on a treeless 
range beside the Little Missouri. It quickly became evident 
that the eagle was after an antelope fawn. As the bird swooped 
down toward the mother, and endeavored to seize her fawn 
in its talons, the doe rose high on her hind legs, and with her 
forelegs fl3dng like flails struck with her sharp-pointed hoofs 
again and again. Her blows went home, and feathers were 
seen to fly from the body of the marauder. 

The doe made good her defense. The eagle was glad to 
escape, and as quickly as possible pulled himself together and 
flew away. 

The Defensive Circle of the Musk-Ox. Several arctic 
explorers have described the wonderful living-ring defense, 
previously mentioned, of musk-ox herds against wolves. Mr. 
Paul Rainey's moving pictures have shown it to us in 
thrilling detail, with Eskimo dogs instead of wolves. When a 
musk-ox herd is attacked by the big and deadly arctic white 


wolves, the bulls and adult cows herd the calves and young 
stock into a compact group, then take their places shoulder 
to shoulder around them in a perfect circle, and with lowered 
heads await the onset. The sharp down-and-up curved horn 
of the musk-ox is a deadly weapon against all the dangerous 
animals of the North, except man. 

When a wolf approaches near and endeavors to make a 
breach in the circle, the musk-ox nearest him tries to get him, 
and will even rush out of the line for a short and brief pursuit. 
But the bull does not pursue more than twenty yards or so, for 
fear of being surrounded alone and cut oflE. At the end of his 
usually futile run, back he goes and carefully backs into his 
place in the first line of defense. A charging bull does not 
rush out far enough that the wolves can cut him off and kill 
him. He is much too wise for that. 

Mr. Stefansson says that the impregnability of the musk-ox 
defense is so well recognized by the wolves of the North that 
often a pack will march past a herd in close proximity without 
offering to attack it, and without even troubling the herd to 
form the hollow cirde. 

A Savage Wild Boar. I once had a "fight" with a 
captive Japanese wild boar, under conditions both absurd and 
tragic, and from it I learned the courage and fury of such 
animals. The animal was large, powerful, fearfully savage 
toward every living thing, and insanely courageous. It was 
confined in a yard enclosed by a strong wire fence, and while we 
were all very sure that the fence would hold it, I became uneasy. 
In mid-afternoon I went alone to the spot, passing hundreds 
of school children on the way, to study the situation. When 
I reached the front of the corral and stood still to look at the 
fence, the boar immediately rushed for me. He came straight 
on, angry and terrible, and charged the wire like a living batter- 
ing-ram. He repeated these charges until I became fearful of 
an outbreak, and decided to try to make him afraid to 
repeat them, 


Procuring from the bear dens, a pike pole with a stout spike 
in the end, I received the next charge with a return thrust 
meant to puncture both the boar's hide and his understanding. 
He backed off and charged more furiously than ever, with white 
foam flying from his jaws. 

He cared nothing for his punishment. He charged until 
his snout bled freely, and the fence bulged at the strain. 

Then I became regularly scared! I feared that the savage 
beast would break through the fence in spite of its strength, 
and run amuck among those helpless children* I "beat it" 
back to my office, hurried back with one of my loaded rifles, and 
without losing a second put a bullet through that raging brain 
and ended that danger forever. 

The Overrated Peccary. This reminds me that the col- 
lared peccary has been credited with a degree of courage that 
has been much exaggerated. While a hunted and cornered 
peccary will fight dogs or men, and put up a savage and dan- 
gerous defense, men whom I know in the peccary belt of Mexico 
have assured me that a drove of peccaries will not attack a 
hunter who has killed one of their mates, nor keep him up a 
tree for hours while they swarm underneath him waiting for 
his blood. I have been assured by competent witnesses that 
in peccary hunting there is no danger whatever of mass attack 
through a desire for revenge, and that peccaries fired at will 
run like deer. 

A Black Bear Killed a Man for Food. There is on 
record at least one well-authenticated case of a black bear 
deliberately going out of his way to cross a river, attack a man 
and kill him. 

On May 17, 1907, at a lumber camp of the Red Deer Lumber 
Company, thirty miles south of Etiomami on the Canadian 
Northern Railway, Northwest Territory, a cook named T. 
Wilson was chased by a large black bear, without provocation, 
struck once on the head, and instantiy killed. The bear then 
picked him up, carried him a short distance, and proceeded 


to eat Hm. Ten shots from a .32 calibre revolver had no effect. 
Later a rifle ball drove the bear away, but only after it had eaten 
the left thigh and part of the body. (Forest and Stream, 
Feb. 8, 1908.) 

The Status of the Gray Wolf. In America wolves 
rarely succeed in killing men, although they often follow men's 
trails in the hope of spoil of some kind. But there are excep- 

In 1912, around Lake Nipigon, Province of Ontario, Canada, 
there existed a reign of terror from wolves. The first man killed 
was a half-breed mail-carrier. Then, in December, another 
mail-carrier, who was working the lumber camps north of Lake 
Nipigon, was killed by wolves and completely devoured. The 
snow showed a terrible struggle, in which four large wolves had 
been killed by the carrier. 

In Russia and in France In the days preceding the use of 
modem breech-loading firearms, the gray wolves of Europe 
were very bold, and a great many people were killed by them. 

Killings by Wild Beasts in India. The killing by wild 
beasts of unarmed and defenseless native men, women and 
children in India is a very different matter from man-killing in 
resourcefvd and dangerous North America. The annual 
slaughter by wild beasts in Hindustan and British Burma is a 
fairly good index of the courage and aggressiveness of the 
parties of the first part. In India during the year 1878, in 
which we were specially interested, the totals were as follows: 

Persons killed by elephants, S3\ tigers, 816; leopards, 300; 
bears, 94; wolves, 845; hyenas, 33; snakes, 16,812. 

Of course such slaughter as this by the ridiculous hyenas and 
the absurd sloth bears of India is possible only in a country 
wherein the swarming millions of people are universally de- 
fenseless, and children are superabundant. 

As a corollary to the above figures, a comparison of them 
with the roste* of wild animals killed and paid for is of some 
interest. The dangerous beasts destroyed were as follows : 


Elephants, i; tigers, 1,493; leopards, 3,387; bears, 1,283; 
wolves, 5,067; hyenas, 1,202; serpents, 117,782. 

The Fighting Spirit in Baboons. In the first analysis, 
we find that courage is an individual trait, and that so far as 
we know, it never characterizes all the individuals of any one 
species. The strongest and the best armed of men and beasts 
usually are accounted the bravest ones of earth. The defense- 
less ones do well to be tinud, to avoid hostilities and to flee from 
conflict to avoid being destroyed. It is just as much the duty 
of a professional mother to flee and to hide, in order to save her 
own Hfe, as it is for "the old he-one" to threaten and to fight. 

At the same time, there are many species which are con- 
cededly courageous, as species. In making up this list I would 
place first of all the baboons of eastern Africa, whom I regard 
collectively as the most bold and reckless fighters per pound 
avoirdupois to be found in the whole Order Primates. They 
have weapons, agility, strength and cyclonic courage. On no 
other basis could they have so long survived on land in a country 
full of lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs. 

In order to appreciate the fighting spirit of a male baboon, 
the observer need only come just once in actual touch with one. 
A dozen times I have been seized by a powerful baboon hand 
shot out with lightning quickness between or under his cage 
bars. The combined strength and ferocity of the grab, and the 
grip on the human hand or arm, is unbelievable until felt, and 
this with an accompaniment of glaring eyes, snarling lips and 
nerve-ripping voice is quite suflSicient to intimidate any ordinary 

But even in the courage and belligerency of baboons, there 
are some marked differences between species. I rank them as 

The most fierce and dangerous species is the East African 

The next for courage is the Rhodesian specie^s. 

The spectacular hamadryas baboon is a very good citizen. 


The long-armed yellow species makes very little trouble, and 

The small golden baboon is the best-behaved of them all. 

Courage in the Great Apes. After forty years of ape 
study, with many kinds of evidence, I am convinced that the 
courage and the alleged ferocity of the gorilla has been much 
over-rated. I believe this is due to the influence upon the 
human mind of the great size and terrif3ring aspect of the animal. 

Of all the men whom I have known or read, the late R. 
L. Garner knew by far the most of gorilla habits and character 
by personal observation in the gorilla jungles of equatorial 
Africa. And never, in several years of intimate contact with 
Mr. Garner did he so much as once put forth a statement or 
an estimate that seemed to me exaggerated or overcolored. 

In our many discussions of gorilla character Mr. Gamer 
always represented that animal as very shy, wary of observation 
by man, profoundly cunning in raiding in darkness the banana 
plantations of man's villages, and most carefully avoiding 
exposures by daylight. He described the gorilla as prac- 
tically never attacking men unless first attacked by them, and 
fleeing unless forcibly brought to bay. He told me of a re- 
doubtable African tribesman who once captured a baby gorilla 
on the ground by suddenly attacking the mother with his club 
and beating her so successfully that she fled from him and 
abandoned her young. "But," said Mr. Gamer, " there is only 
one tribe in Africa that could turn out a man who would attempt 
a feat like that." 

That the gorilla can and will fight furiously and effectively 
when brought to bay is well known, and never denied. 

Of the apes I have known in captivity, the chimpanzees are 
by far the most aggressive, courageous and dangerous. A 
vigorous male specimen over eight years of age is more dan- 
gerous than a lion, or tiger, or grizzly bear, and far more anxious 
to fight something. I think that even if our Boma were muzzled, 
no five men of my acquaintance could catch him and tie his 
hands and feet. 


The orang-utan is only half the fighter that the chimpanzee 
is. Even the adult males are not persistently aggressive, or 
inflamed by savage desires to hurt somebody. 

Courage in Elephants as an Asset. In all portions of 
India wherein tiger hunting with elephants is practiced, ele- 
phants with good courage are at a premium. No elephant is fit 
to carry a howdah in a line of beaters, with a valuable sahib on 
board, unless its courage can stand the acid test of a wounded 
tiger's charge. When an elephant can endure without panic 
an infuriated tiger climbing up its frontispiece to get at the 
unhappy mahout and the hunter, that elephant belongs in the 
courageous class. The cowardly elephant screams in terror, 
bolts for the rear, and if there is a tree in the landscape promptly 
wrecks the howdah and the sportsman against its lower 

A "rogue" elephant always reminds me of my Barbados 
boatman's description of a pugnacious friend: "De trouble is, 
he am too brave !" A rogue elephant will attack anything from 
a wheelbarrow to a hut, and destroy it. The peak of rogue 
ambition was reached on a railway in Burma, near Ban Klap, 
in March 1908, when a rogue elephant "on hearing the loco- 
motive whistle, trumpeted loudly and then, lowering his head, 
charged the oncoming train. The impact was tremendous. 
Such was the impetus of the great pachyderm that the engine 
was partially derailed, the front of the smoke-box shattered 
as far as the tubes, the cow-catcher was crushed into a shapeless 
piece of iron, and other damages of minor importance" were 
sustained. The train was going thirty-four miles per hour, 
and the engine alone weighed between forty and fifty- tons. 

"Of course the elephant was killed by the shock, its head 
being completely smashed. . . . It is believed that this par- 
ticular rogue had been responsible for considerable damage to 
villages in the vicinity of Lopbusi. A number of houses have 
been pulled down recently and havoc wrought in other ways." 

On another occasion a vicious rogue elephant elected to try 


conclusions with a railway train. In 1906, on the Korat branch 
of the Siamese State Railway, a bull elephant attacked a freight 
train running at full speed. He charged the rushing loco- 
motive, with the result that the locomotive and several cars were 
derailed and sent down the side of the grade, and two persons 
were killed. The elephant was killed outright and buried under 
the wreck of the train. This occurred in open country, where 
there was no excuse for an elephant on the track, and therefore 
the charge of the rogue was wholly gratuitous. 

Captive elephants whose managers are too humane to punish 
them for manifestations of meanness become spoiled by their 
immunity, just as mean children are spoiled when fond and 
foolish parents feel that their little jackets are too sacred ever 
to be tanned. Such complete immunity is as bad for bad ele- 
phants as for bad children, but in practice the severe punish- 
ment of an elephant with real benefit to the animal is next door 
to an impossibility, and so we never attempt it. We do, how- 
ever, inflict mild punishments, of the fourth order of eflSciency. 

Animals and Men. Among the animals that are most 
courageous against man are the species and individuals that 
are most familiar with him, and feel for him both contempt 
and hatred. The cat scratches, the bad dog bites, the vicious 
horse kicks or bites, and the mean pet bear, tiger, ape, leopard, 
bison or deer will attempt injury or murder whenever they think 
the chance has arrived. I know a lady whose pet monkey 
is a savage and mean little beast, and because she never thrashes 
it as it deserves, both of her arms from wrist to elbow have been 
scarified by its teeth. 

Mr. E. R. Sanborn, official photographer of the Zoological 
Park, once made an ingenious and also terrifying experiment. 
He made an excellent dummy keeper, stood it up, and tied it 
fast against the fence inside the yard of our very large and 
savage male Grevy Zebra. Then he posed his moving picture 
camera in a safe place, and the keeper turned the zebra into the 


The moment the bad zebra caught sight of the presumptive 
keeper, — at last within his power, — he rushed at the dummy 
with glaring eyes and open mouth, and seized his victim by 
the head. With furious efforts he tore the dummy loose from 
its moorings, whirled it into the middle of the yard, where in a 
towering rage he knelt upon it, bit and tore its heart out. Of 
course the unfortunate dummy perished. The zebra reveled 
in his triumph, and altogether it was a fearsome sight. 

Caution. A thoroughly cowardly horse never should be 
ridden, nor driven to anything so light that a runaway is pos- 
sible. Such animals are too expensive both to human life and 
to property. A dangerous horse can be just as great a risk 
as a bad lion or bear. 



IF we were asked, "Which one may be called the ruling 
passion of the wild animal?" we would without hesitation 
answer, — ^it is fear. 
From the cradle to the grave, every strictly wild animal 
lives, day and night, in a state of fear of bodily harm, and 
dread of hunger and famine. 

"Now the 'free, wild life' is a round of strife, 
And of ceaseless hunger and fear; 
And the life in the wild of the animal child 
Is hot all skittles and beer." 

The first thing that the wild baby learns, both by precept 
and example, is safety first! When the squalling and toddling 
bear cub first goes abroad, the mother bear is worried and 
nervous for fear that in a sudden and dangerous emergency 
the half-helpless little one will not be able to make a successful 
get-away when the alarm-signal snort is given. During the 
first, and most dangerous, days in the life of the elk, deer and 
antelope fawn, the first care of the mother is to hide her off- 
spring in a spot cunningly chosen beside a rock, beside a log, or 
m thick bushes. In the absence of all those she looks for a 
depression in the earth wherein the fawn can lie without making 
a hump in the landscape. The first impulse of the fawn, — 
even before nursing if the birth occurs in daylight, — ^is to fold 
its long legs, short body and reptilian neck into a very small 
package, hug the earth tightly, close its eyes and lie absolutely 



motionless until its mother gives the signal to arise and sup. 
Such infants may lie for long and weary hours without so much 
as moving an ear; and the amdous mother strolls away to some 
distance to avoid disclosing her helpless offspring. 

Now, suppose you discover and touch an elk or a deer fawn 
while thus hiding. What will it do? Nine times out of ten it 
will bound up as if propelled by steel springs, and go off like an 
arrow from a bow, dashing in any direction that is open and 
leads straight away. The horrified mother will rush into view 
in dangerously near proximity, and I have seen a wild white- 
tailed deer doe tear madly up and down in full view and near 
by, to attract the danger to herself. 

Thousands of men and boys have seen a mother quail flop 
and flutter and play wounded, to lead the dangerous boy away 
from her brood of little quail mites, and work the ruse so daringly 
and successfully as to save both her babies and herself. I well 
remember my surprise and admiration when a mother quail 
first played that trick upon me. I expected to pick her up, — 
and forgot all about the chicks, — until they were every one 
safely in hiding, and then Mrs. Quail gave me the laugh and 
flew away. 

Was it strategy? Was it the result of quail thought and 
reason? Or did it come by heredity, just like walking? To 
deny the cold facts in the quail case is to discredit our own 
ability to reason and be honest. 

Fear is the ruling emotion alike of the most timid creatures, 
and also the boldest. Of course each wild animal keeps a 
mental list of the other animals of which he is not afraid; and 
the predatory animal also keeps a card catalogue of those 
which he may safely attack when in need of food. 

But, with all due consideration to mighty forearm, to deadly 
claws and stabbing fangs, there is (I thiiik) absolutely no land 
animal that is not afraid of something. Let us progressively 
consider a few famous species near at hand. 

The savage and merciless weasel fears the fox, the skunk. 


the wolf and the owl. The skunk fears the coyote which joy- 
ously kills him and devours all of him save his jaws and his 
tail. The marten, mink and fisher have mighty good reason 
to fear the wolverine, who in his turn cheerfully gives the road 
to the gray wolf. The wolf and the lynx carefully avoid the 
mountain lion and the black bear, and the black bear is careful 
not to get too close to a grizzly. Today a cotton-tail rabbit 
is not more afraid of a hound than a grizzly bear is of a man. 
The polar bear once was bold in the presence of man; but some- 
body has told him about breech-loading high power rifles; 
and now he, too, runs in terror from every man that he sees. 
The lion, the tiger, the leopard and the jaguar all live in whole- 
some fear of man, and flee from him at sight. The lordly ele- 
phant does likewise, and so does the rhinoceros, save when he 
is in doubt about the identity of the biped animal and trots up 
to get certainty out of a nearer view. Col. Roosevelt became 
convinced that most of the alleged "charging" of rhinoceroses 
was due to curiosity and poor vision, and the desire of rhinos 
to investigate at close range. 

Today the giant brown bears of Alaska exhibit less fear 
of man than any other land animals that we know, and many 
individuals have put themselves on record as dangerous fighters. 
And this opens the door to the great Alaskan controversy 
that for a year raged,— chiefly upon one side, — ^in certain 
Alaskan newspapers and letters. 

Early in 1920, certain parties in Alaska publicly asked people 
to believe that W. T. Homaday in his "published works" 
had set up the Alaskan brown bear as "a harmless animal." 
All these statements and insinuations were notoriously false, 
but the repetition of them went on right merrily, even while 
the author's article portraying the savage and dangerous char- 
acter of the brown bear was being widely circulated in the 
United States through Boys^ Life magazine. 

The indisputable facts regarding the temper of the great 
Alaskan brown bears are as follows: 


Usually, unless fired at, these big brown bears flee from 
man at sight of him, and by many experienced Alaskan bear 
hunters who can shoot they are not regarded as particularly 
dangerous, save when they are attacked by man, or think that 
they are to be attacked. 

They are just now the boldest of all bears, and the most 

They often attack men who are hunting them, and have 
killed several. 

They have attacked a few persons who were not hunting. 

Where they are really numerous they are a menace and a 
nuisance to frontiersmen who need to traverse their haunts. 

In all places where Alaskan brown bears are qviite too 
numerous for public safety, their numbers shoidd thoroughly 
be reduced; and everywhere the bears of Alaska should be 
pursued and shot until the survivors acquire the wholesome 
respect for man that now is felt everjrwhere by the polar and 
the grizzly. Then the Alaskans will have peace, and our 
Alaskan enemies possibly will cease to try to discredit our 

The most impressive exhibition of wild-animal fear that 
Americans ever have seen was furnished by the African motion 
pictures of Paul J. Rainey. They were taken from a blind 
constructed within close range of a dry river bed in northern 
British East Africa, where a supply of water was held, by a 
stratum of waterproof clay or rock, about four feet below the 
surface of the dry river bed. By industrious pawing the 
zebras had dug a hole down to the water, and to this one life- 
saving well wild animals of many species flocked from miles 
around. The camera faithfully recorded the doings of ele- 
phants, giraffes, zebras, hartebeests, gnus, antelopes of several 
species, wart-hogs and baboons. 

The personnel of the daily assemblage was fairly astounding, 
and to a certain extent the observer of those wonderful pictures 
can from them read many of the thoughts of the animals. 


Next to the plainly expressed desire to quench their thirst, 
the dominant thought in the minds of those animals, one and 
all, was the fear of being altached. In some species this ever- 
present and harassing dread was a pitiful spectacle. I wish it 
might be witnessed by all those ultra-humane persons who think 
and say that the free wild animals are the only happy ones! 

With the possible exception of the sanguine-tempered 
elephants, all those animals were afraid of being seized or 
attacked while drinking. One and all did the same thing. An 
animal would approach the water-hole, nervously looking about 
for enemies. The fore feet cautiously stepped down, the 
head disappeared to reach the water, — but quickly shot upward 
again, to look for ■ the enemies. It was alternately drink, 
look, drink, look, for a dozen quick repetitions, then a scurry 
for safety. 

Even the stilt-legged and long-necked giraffes went through 
that same process, — a mouthful of water greedily seized, and a 
fling of the head upward to stare about for danger. Group by 
group the animals of each species took their turns. The 
baboons drifted down over the steep rocky slope like a flock of 
skimming birds, and watched and drank by turn. Having 
finished, they paused not for idle gossip or play, but as swiftly 
as they came drifted up the slope and sought safety elsewhere. 

And yet, it was noticeable that during the whole of that 
astounding panorama of ferae naturae unalloyed by man's 
baleful influence, no species attacked another, there was no 
fighting, nor even any threatening of any kind. Had there 
been a white flag waving over that water-hole, the truce of the 
wild could not have been more perfect. 

EfiEect of Fear in Captive Animals. Among captive 
wild animals, by far the most troublesome are those that are 
obsessed by slavish fear of being harmed. The courageous 
and supremely confident grizzly or Alaskan brown bear is in 
his den a good-natured and reliable animal, who obeys orders 
when the keepers enter the den to do the daily housework and 


order him to "Get up out of here." The fear-possessed Japa- 
nese black bear, Malay sun bear and Indian sloth bear are 
the ones that are most dangerous, and that sometimes charge 
the keepers. 

Our famous "picture lion," Sultan, was serenely confident 
of his own powers, his nerves were steady and reliable, and he 
never cared to attack man or beast. Once when by the error 
of a fellow keeper the wrong chain was pulled, alid the wrong 
partition door was opened, the working keeper bent his head, 
and broom in hand walked into what he thought was an empty 
cage. To his horror, he found himself face to face with Sultan, 
with only the length of the broom handle between them. 

The startled and helpless keeper stood still, and said in a 
calm voice, without batting an eye. 

"Hello, Sultan." 

Sultan calmly looked at him, wonderingly and inquiringly, 
but without even a trace of excitement; and feeling sure that 
the keeper did not mean to harm him, he seemed to have no 
thought of attacking. 

The keeper quietly backed through the low doorway, and 
gently closed the door. Had the keeper lost his nerve, and 
shown it, there might have been a tragedy- 
Lions are the best of all carnivorous performing animals, 
because of their courage, serenity, self-confidence and absence 
of jumpy nerves. Leopards are the worst, and polar bears 
stand next, with big chimpanzees as a sure third. Beware 
of aU three. 

Exceptions to the Rule of Fear. Fortunately for the 
wild animal world, there are some exceptions to the rule of 
fear. 1 will indicate the kinds of them, and students can 
supply the individual cases. 

Whenever a wild animal species inhabits a spot so remote 
and inaccessible that man's blighting hand never has fallen 
upon it, nor in any way influenced its life or its fortunes, that 
species knows no fear save from the warring elements, and 


(From Sir Ernest Shackleton's "Heart of the Antarctic," by permission of William Heinemann 
and the J. B. Lippincott Company, publishers) 


ftom predatory animal?. The wonderful giant penguins found 
and photographed near the south pole by Sir Ernest Shackleton 
never had seen nor heard of men, never had been attacked by 
predatory animals or birds. You may search this wide world 
over, and you will not find a more striking example of subb'me 
isolation. Those penguins had been living in a penguin's 
paradise. The sea-leopard seals harmed them not, and until 
the arrival of the irrepressible British explorer the spell of 
that antarctic elysium was unbroken. 

Those astounding birds knew no such emotion as fear. 
Under the impulse of the icy waves dashing straight up to the 
edge of the ice floes, those giant penguins shot out of the water, 
sped like catapulted birds curving through the air, and landed 
on their cushioned breasts high and dry, fully ten feet back from 
the edge of the floe. They flocked together, they waddled about 
erect and serene, heads high in air, and marched close up to the 
ice-bound ship to see what it was all about. Men and horses 
freely walked among them without exciting fear, and when the 
birds gathered in a vast assemblage the naturalists and pho- 
tographers were welcomed everywhere. 

And indeed those birds were well-nigh the most fortunate 
birds in all the world. The men who found them were not low- 
browed butchers thinking only of "oil" or "fertilizer"; and they 
did not go to work at once to club all those helpless birds into 
masses of death and corruption. Those men wondered at 
them, laughed at them, photographed them, studied them,-^ 
and left them in peace! 

What a thundering contrast that was with the usual course 
of Man, the bloody savage, tmder such circumstances! The 
coast of Lower California once swarmed with seals, sea-lions 
and birds, and the waters of the Gulf were alive with whales. 
Now the Gulf and the shores of the Peninsula are as barren of 
wild life as Death Valley. 

The history of the whaling industry contains many sick- 
ening records of the wholesale slaughter by savage whalers 


of newly discovered herds of walrus, seals and sea birds that 
through isolation knew no fear, and were easily clubbed to 
death en masse. 

Wild creatures generally subscribe to the political principle 
that in union there is strength. In the minds of wild animals, 
birds and reptiles, great numbers of individuals massed to- 
gether make for general security from predatory attacks. The 
herd with its many eyes and ears feels far greater security, and 
less harrowing fear, than the solitary individual who must 
depend upon his own two pair. The herd members relax and 
enjoy life; but the solitary bear, deer, sheep, goat or elephant 
does not. His nerves always are strung up to concert pitch, 
and while he feeds or drinks, or travels, he watches his step. 
A moving object, a strange-looking object, a strange sound or a 
queer scent in the air instantly fixes his attention, and demands 

On the North American continent the paramount fear of the 
wild animal is aroused to its highest pitch by what is called 
"man scent." And really, from the Battery to the North Pole, 
there is good reason for this feeling of terror, and high wisdom 
in fleeing fast and far. 

Said a wise old Ojibway Indian to Arthur Heming: 

"My son, when I smell some men, and especially some white 
men, I never blame the animals of the Strong Woods for taking 
fright and running away!" 

And civilization also has its terrors, as much as the wilder- 

The fox, no matter what is the color of his coat, or his given 
name, is the incarnation of timidity and hourly fear. The 
nocturnal animals go abroad and work at night solely because 
they are afraid to work in the daytime. The beaver will cheer- 
fully work in daytime if there is no prospect of observation or 
interference by man. The eagle builds in the top of the tallest 
tree, and the California condor high up on the precipitous 
side of a frightful canyon wall, because they are afraid of the 


things on the ground below. In the great and beautiful Ani- 
mallai Forest (of Southern India), in 1877 the tiger walked 
abroad in the daytime, because men were few and weak, but in 
the populous and dangerous plains he did his traveling and 
killing at night, and lay closely hidden by day. 

Judging by the records of those who have hunted lions, 
I think that naturally the lion has more courage and less fear of 
bodily harm than any other wild animal of equal intelligence. 
By reason of his courage and self-confidence, as well as his 
majesty of physique, the lion is indeed well worthy to be called 
the King of Beasts. 

Among the few animals that seem naturally bold and ready 
to take risks, a notable species is the gray wolf. But is it really 
free from fear? Far from it. When in touch with civilization, 
from dawn until dark the wolf never forgets to look out for his 
own safety. He fears man, he fears the claws of every bear, 
he fears traps, poison and the sharp horns of the musk-ox. 
Individually the wolf is a contemptible coward. Rarely does 
he attack all alone an animal of his own size, unless it is a 
defenseless colt, calf or sheep. No animal is more safe from 
another than an able-bodied bull from the largest wolf. The 
wolf believes in mass action, not in single combat. 

But there is hope for the harassed and nerve-racked children 
of the wild. The Game Sanctuary has come! Its area of safety, 
and its magic boundary, are quickly recognized by the harried 
deer, elk, sheep, goat and antelope, and right quickly do these 
and all other wild animals set up housekeeping on a basis of abso- 
lute safety. Talk about wild animals not "reasoning!" For 
shame. What else than REASON convinced the wild moun- 
tain sheep in the rocky fastnesses they once inhabited in terror 
that now they are SAFE, even in the streets of Ouray, and that 
"Ouray" rhymes with "your hay"? 

On account of his crimes against wild life, man (both civil- 
ized and savage) has much to answer for; but each wild life sanc- 
tuary that he now creates wi^s out one chapter. From the 


Cape to Cairo, from the Aru Islands to Tasmania and from 
Banks Land to the Mexican boundary, they are growing and 
spreading. In them, save for the misdoings of the few uncaught 
and unkilled predatory animals, fear can die out, and the peace 
of paradise regained take its place. 

Hysteria of Fear in a Bear. Among wild animals in 
captivity hysteria, of the tj^e produced by fear, is fairly com- 
mon. A case noticed particularly on October i6, 1909, in a 
young female Kadiak bear, may well be cited as an example. 

The subject was then about two and one-half years old, and 
was caged in a large open den with four other bears of the same 
age. Of a European brown bear male, only a trifle larger than 
herself, she elected to be terror-stricken, as much so as ever a 
human child was in terror of every move of a brutal adult 
tormentor. Strangely enough, the cause of all this terror was 
wholly unconscious of it, and in the course of an observation 
lasting at least twenty minutes he made not one hostile move- 
ment. The greater portion of the time he idly moved about 
in the central space of the den, wholly oblivious of the alarm 
he was causing. 

The young Kadiak, in full flesh and vigor, first attracted my 
attention by her angry and terrified snorting, three quick 
snorts to the series. On the top of the rocks she raced to and 
fro, constantly eyeing the bear in the centre of the den. If 
he moved toward the rocks, she wildly plunged down, snorting 
and glaring, and raced to the front end of the den. If the bogey 
stopped to lick up a fallen leaf, she took it as a hostile act and 
wildly rushed past him and scrambled up the rocks at the 
farther end of the den. This was repeated about fifteen times 
in twenty minutes, accompanied by a continuous series of 
terrified snorts. She panted from exhaustion, frothed at the 
mouth, and acted like an animal half crazed by terror. 

Not once, however, did the bogey bear pay the slightest 
attention to her, and his sleepy manner was anything but terri- 


These spells of hysteria (without real cause) at last became 
so frequent that they seemed likely to injure the growth of a 
valuable animal, and finally the bogey bear was removed to 
another den. 



QUARRELS and combats between wild animals in a 
state of nature are almost invariably due to one of two 
causes — attack and defense in a struggle for prey, or 
the jealousy of males during the mating season. With rare 
exceptions, battles of the former class occur between animals of 
different Orders, — teeth and claws against horns and hoofs, for 
instance; and it is a fight to the death. Hunger forces the 
aggressor to attack something, and the intended victim fights 
because it is attacked. The question of good or ill temper 
does not enter in. On both sides it is a case of "must," and 
neither party has any option. Such combats are tests of 
agility, strength, and stajring powers, and, in a few cases, of 
thickness of bone and hide. 

How Orang-Utans Fight. Of the comparatively few ani- 
mals which do draw blood of their own kind through ill temper 
or jealousy, I have never encountered any more given to inter- 
necine strife than orang-utans. Their fighting methods, and 
their love of fighting, are highly suggestive of the temper and 
actions of the human tough. They fight by biting, and usually 
it is the fingers and toes that suffer. Of twenty-seven orang- 
utans I shot in Borneo, and twelve more that were shot for me 
by native hunters, five were fighters, and had had one or more 
fingers or toes bitten off in battle. Those specimens were 
taken in the days when the museums of America were one 
and all destitute of anthropoid apes. 

A gorilla, chimpanzee, or orang-utan, being heavy of body, 
short of neck, and by no means nimble footed, cannot spring 
upon an adversary, choose a vulnerable spot, and bite to kill; 
but what it lacks in agility it makes up in length and strength 



of arm and hand. It seizes its antagonist's hand, carries it to 
its own mouth, and bites at the fingers. Usually, the bitten 
finger is severed as evenly as by a surgeon's amputation, and 
heals quite as successfully. 

I never saw two big orang-utans fighting, but I have had 
several captive ones seize my arm and try to bring my fingers 
within biting distance. The canine teeth of a full grown male 
orang, standing four feet four inches in height, and weighing 
a hundred and fifty poimds or more, are just as large and 
dangerous as the teeth of a bear of the same size, and the 
powerful incisors have one quality which the teeth of a bear 
dc not possess. A bear pierces or tears an antagonist with 
his canines, but very rarely bites off anything. An orang- 
utan bites off a finger as evenly as a boy nips off the end of 
a stick of candy. 

When orang-utans fight, they also attack each other's 
faces, and often their broad and expansive lips suffer severely. 
My eleventh orang bore the scars of many a fierce duel in the 
tree-tops. A piece had been bitten out of the middle of both 
his lips, leaving in each a large, ragged notch. Both his 
middle fingers had been t^en off at the second joint, and his 
feet had lost the third right toe, the fourth left toe, and the 
end of one halluz. His back, also, had sustained a severe 
injury, which had retarded his growth. This animal we 
called "The Desperado." 

Orang No. 34 had lost the entire edge of his upper lip. It 
had been bitten across diagonally, but adhered at one corner, 
and healed without sloughing off, so that during the last years 
of his life a piece of lip two inches long hxmg dangling at the 
comer of his mouth. He had also suffered the loss of an entire 
finger. No. 36 had lost a good sized piece out of his upper 
lip, and the first toe had been bitten off his left foot. 

All these combats must have taken place in the tree-tops, 
for an adult orang-utan has never been known to descend to 
the earth except for water. 


In some manner it has become a prevalent belief that in 
their native jungles all three of the great apes — gorilla, orang, 
and chimpanzee — are dangerous to human beings, and often 
attack them with clubs. Nothing could be farther from the 
truth. According to the natives of West Africa, a gorilla or 
chimpanzee fights a hunter by biting his face and fingers, just 
as an orang-utan does. I believe that no sane orang ever 
voluntarily left the safety of a tree top to fight at a serious 
disadvantage on the ground; and I am sure an orang never 
struck a blow with a club, unless carefully taught to do so. 

Wild Animals Are Not Quarrelsome. As a species, 
man appears to be the most quarrelsome animal on the earth; 
and the same quality is strongly reflected in his most impres- 
sionable servant and companion, the domestic dog. Nearly 
all species of wild animals have learned the two foundation 
facts of the philosophy of life — that peace is better than war, 
and that if one must fight, it is better to fight outside one's 
own species. To this rule, however, wolves are a notable 
exception; for wherever wolves are abundant a wounded wolf 
is a subject for attack, and usually it is killed and eaten by 
the other members of the pack. 

I have observed the daily habits of many kinds of wild 
animals in their wild haunts, but in the field I never yet have 
seen either a fight between animals of the same species, or be- 
tween two of different species. This may seem a very humi- 
liating admission for a hunter to make, but it happens to be 
true. In the matter of finding big snakes, having exciting 
adventures, and witnessing combats between wild animals, 
there are some men who never are in luck. 

Now there was the "Old Shekarry," — whose elephants, 
tigers, bison, bears, and sambar always were so much larger 
than mine. In his book, "Sport in Many Lands," he describes 
an affair of honor between a tiger and a bull bison, which "was 
a truly ideal combat. The champions met by appointment, — 
by the light of the moon, in order to be safe from interference 


by the jungle police, — and they fought round after round, in 
the most orthodox prize ring style, under the Queensberry 
rules. So fairly did they fight that neither claimed a foul, 
and at the finish the two combatants retired to their respective 
corners and died simultaneously, "to the musical twitter of 
the night bird." 

Another writer has given a vivid description of a battle to 
the death between a wild bull and a grizzly bear; and we have 
read of several awful combats between black bears and alli- 
gators, in Florida; but some of us have yet to find either a 
black bear or an alligator that will stop to fight when he has 
an option on a line of retreat. When he has lived long, — 
say to the length of twelve feet, — the alligator is a hideous 
and terrorizing beast; but, for all that, he knows a thing or 
two; and a full grown, healthy black bear of active habit is 
about the last creature on earth that a 'gator would care to 
meddle with. Pigs and calves, fawns, stray dogs, ducks and 
mud hens are antagonists more to his liking. 

The Fighting Tactics of Bears. In captivity, bears 
quarrel and scold one another freely, at feeding time, but 
seldom draw blood. I have questioned many old hunters, and 
read many books by bear hunters, but Ira Dodge, of Wyoming, 
is the only man I know who has witnessed a real fight between 
wild bears. He once saw a battle between a cinnamon and 
a grizzly over the carcass of an elk. 

In attacking, a bear does three things, and usually in the 
same order. First, he delivers a sweeping sidewise blow on 
the head of his antagonist; then he seizes him by the cheek, 
with the intention of shifting to the throat as quickly as it 
is safe to do so. His third move consists in throwing his weight 
upon his foe and bearing him to the earth, where he wiU have 
a better chance at his throat. If the fighters are fairly matched, 
the struggle is head to head and mouth to mouth. After the 
first onset, the paws do little or no damage, and the attacks 
of the teeth rarely go as far down as the shoulders. Often 


the assailant will seize his opponent's cheek and hold on so 
firmly that for a full minute the other can do nothing; but 
this means little. 

In combats between bears, the one that is getting mauled, 
or that feels outclassed, will throw himself upon the ground, 
flat upon his back, and proceed to fight with all four sets of 
claws in addition to his teeth. This attitude is purely defensive, 
and often is maintained until an opportunity occurs to attack 
with good advantage, or to escape. It is very difficult for a 
standing bear to make a serious impression upon an antagonist 
who lies upon his back, clawing vigorously with all four feet 
at the head of his assailant. 

Tiger Versus Grizzly Bear. Of ten is the question asked, 
"If a grizzly bear and a tiger should fight, which would whip 
the other?" One can answer only with opinions and deduc- 
tions, not by reference to the records of the ring; for it seems 
that the terrors of the Occident and the orient have never yet 
been matched in a fight to a finish. 

One of the heaviest tigers ever weighed, prior to 1878, 
scaled four hundred and ninety five pounds, and was as free 
from surplus fiesh and fat as a prizefighter in the ring. He 
stood three feet seven inches at the shoulder, measured thirty- 
six inches around the jaws, and twenty inches around the 
forearm. Very few lions have ever exceeded his weight or 
dimensions. So far as I know, a wild grizzly bear of the largest 
size has never been scaled, but it is not at all certain that any 
California grizzly has weighed more than twelve hundred 
pounds. The silvertip of the Rocky Mountain region is a 
totally different animal, being smaller, as well as different in 

In a match between a grizzly and a tiger of equal weights, 
the activity of the latter, combined with the greater spread of 
his jaws and length of his canine teeth, would insure him the 
victory. The superior attack of the tiger would give Tiim an 
advantage which it would probably be impossible to overcome. 


The blow of a tiger's paw is as powerful as that of a grizzly of 
the same size, though I doubt if it is any quicker in delivery. 
The quickness with which a seemingly clumsy bear can deliver 
a smashing blow is astonishing. Moreover, nature has given 
the grizzly a coat of fur which as a protection in fighting is 
almost equal to chain mail. Its length, combined with its 
density, makes it difficult for teeth or claws to cut through it, 
and in a struggle with a tiger, protective fur is only a fair 
compensation for a serious lack of leaping power in the hinder 
limbs. Though the tiger would win at equal weights, it is 
extremely probable that an adult California grizzly would 
vanquish a tiger of the largest size, for his greater bulk would 
far outweigh the latter's agility. 

The Great Cats as Fighters. Tigers, when well match- 
ed, fight head to head and mouth to mouth, as do nearly all 
other camivora, and at the same time they strike with their 
front paws. One of the finest spectacles I ever witnessed was 
a pitched battle between two splendid tigers, in a cage which 
afforded them ample room. With loud, roaring coughs, they 
sprang together, ears laid tight to their heads, eyes closed until 
only sparks of green and yellow fire flashed through four 
narrow slits, and their upper lips snarling high up to clear the 
glittering fangs beneath. Coughing, snarling, and often roar- 
ing furiously, each sprang for the other's throat, but jaw met 
jaw until their teeth almost cracked together. They rose fully 
erect on their hind legs, with their heads seven feet high, stood 
there, and smashed away with their paws, while tufts of hair 
flew through the air, and the cage seemed full of sparks. 
Neither gave the other a chance to. get the throat hold, nor 
bdeed to do aught else than ward off calamity; and each face 
was a picture of fury. 

This startling combat lasted a surprisingly long time, 
without noticeable advantage to either ^ side. Finally the 
tigers backed away from each other, and when at a safe dis- 
tance apart dropped their front feet to the floor, growling 


savagely and licking their lips wherever a claw had drawn 

Of all the wild animals that are preyed upon by lions, 
tigers, leopards, jaguars, and pumas, only half a dozen species 
do anything more than struggle to escape. The gaur and the 
wild buffalo of India are sufficiently vindictive in dealing with 
a human hunter whose aim is not straight, but both fly before 
the tiger, and count themselves lucky when they can escape 
with nothing worse to show than a collection of long slits 
on their sides and hind quarters made by his knife-like claws. 
They do not care to return to do battle for the sake of revenge, 
and seek to put the widest possible stretch of jungle between 
themselves and^their dreaded enemy. 

The same is true of the African buffalo and the lion. As 
to the antelopes of Africa and the deer of India, what can they 
do but make adesperate effort to escape, and fly like the wind 
whenever they succeed? Of course many of these defenseless 
animals make a gallant struggle for their lives, and not a few 
succeed in throwing off their assailants and escaping. Even, 
domestic cattle sometimes return to the hill country villages 
of southern India bearing claw marks on their sides — ^usually 
the work of young tigers, or of rheumatic old ones. 

Here is a deer and puma story. In the picturesque 
bad-lands of Hell Creek, Montana, I saw my comrade, Laton 
A. Huffman, kill a large mule deer buck that three months 
previously had been attacked by a puma. From above it, the 
great cat had leaped upon the back of the deer, and laid hold 
with teeth and claws. In its struggle for life the buck either 
leaped or feU off the edge of a perpendicidar "cut bank," and 
landed upon its back, with the puma underneath. Evidently 
the puma was so seriously injured that it could not continue 
the struggle; but it surely left its ear-marks. 

One ear of the buck was fearfully torn. There was a big 
wound on the top of the neck, where the puma jaws had 
lacerated the skin and flesh; and both hind legs had been badly 


clawed by the assailant's hind feet. The main beam of the 
right antler had been broken oflf half-way up, while the antlers 
were still in the velvet, which enabled us to fix the probable 
date of the encounter. 

In the great Wynaad forest I once got lost, and in toiling 
through a five acre patch of grass higher than my head, and 
so dense that it was not negotia,ble except by following the 
game trails, my simple old Kuramber and I came suddenly 
upon the scene of a great struggle. In the center of a space 
about twenty feet in diameter, on which the tall grass had 
been trampled flat, lay the remains of a sambar stag which 
had very recently been killed and eaten by a tiger. The neck 
had not been dislocated, and the sambar had fought long and 
hard. Evidently the tiger had lain in wait on the runway, 
and had failed to subdue the sambar by his first fierce onslaught. 
Now an angry stag with good antlers is no mean antagonist, 
and it is strange if the tiger in the case went through that 
struggle without a puncture in his tawny skin. 

In South Africa, Vaughan Kirby once found the dead 
bodies of a "patriarchal bull" sable antelope and a lion, 
"which had evidently been a fine specimen," lying close to- 
gether, where the two animals had fallen after a great 
struggle. The sable antelope must have killed its antagonist 
by a lucky backward thrust of its long, curved horns as the 
lion fastened upon its back to pull it down. 

Mr. Kirby's dogs once disturbed a sanguinary struggle 
between a leopard and a wild boar, or "bush pig," which had 
well-nigh reached a finish. The old boar, when bayed by the 
dogs, was found to be most terribly mauled. Its tough skin 
hung literally in shreds from its neck and shoulders, presenting 
ghastly open wounds. The entrails protruded from a deep 
daw gash in the side, and the head was a mass of blood and 
dirt. "On searching around," says Mr. Kirby, "we found 
unmistakable evidence of a life and death struggle. The 
ground was covered with gouts of blood and yellow hair, to 


some of which the skin (of the leopard) was still attached. 
Blood was splashed plentifully on the tree stems and the low 
brushwood, which for a space of a dozen yards around was 
trampled flat." The leopard had fled upon the approach of 
the dogs, leaving a trail of blood, which, though followed 
quickly, was finally lost in bad ground. ' It is no -wonder 
that from the above and many other evidences equally good, 
Mr. Kirby considers the bush pig a remarkably courageous 
animal. He says that it was "never yet known to show the 
white feather," and declares that ^' a pig is never defeated 
until he is dead." 

The Combats of Male Deer. ,. The sable antelope is one 
of the few exceptions to the well-nigh universal rule against 
fighting between wild animals of the same species. '^ Of this 
species, Mr. Kirby says: "Sable antelope bulls ,fight most 
fiercely amongst themselves, and though I have never actually 
witnessed an encounter between them, I have often seen the 
results of such, evidenced by great gaping wounds that could 
have been made by nothing else than the horns of an opponent. 
I once killed a large bull with a piece of another's horn tip, 
fully three inches long, buried in its neck. In 1889 I shot an 
old bull on the Swinya with a terrible wound_in its off shoulder, 
caused by a horn thrust." 

Dining the jealous flashes of the mating season, the males 
of several species of deer fight savagely. After a long period 
of inaction while the new antlers are developing — ^from April 
to September — the beginning of October finds the male deer, 
elk, or moose of North America with a new suit of hair, new 
horns, a swollen neck, and all his usual assertiveness. The 
crisp autumn air promotes a disposition to fight something, 
precisely as it inspires a sportsman to "kill something." 
During October and November, particularly, it is well for an 
unarmed man to give every antlered deer a wide berth. 

At this period, fights between the males of herds of mule 
deer, white-tailed deer and elk are of frequent occurrence, 


but in a wild state they rarely end in bloodshed or death, save 
from locked antlers. Many times, however, two bucks will 
come together, and pla3rfully push each other about without 
being angry. Many pairs of bucks have been found with their 
antlers fast locked in death — and I never see a death lock 
without a feeling of grim satisfaction that neither of the 
quarrelsome brutes had had an opportunity to attack some 
defenseless man, and spear him to death. 

The antlers of the common white-tailed deer seem pecu- 
liarly liable to become interlocked so tightly that it is well-nigh 
impossible to separate them. And whenever this hap- 
pens, the doom of both deer is sealed. Unless found speedily 
and killed, they must die of starvation. While it is quite 
true that two deer playing with their antlers may becomeiocked 
fast, it is safe to say that the great majority meet their fate by 
charging each other with force sufficient to spring the beams 
of their antlers, and make the lock so perfect that no force 
they can exert wiU release it. A deer cannot pull back with 
the same power it exerts in plunging forward. 

All members of the deer family that I know follow the 
same natural law in regard to supremacy. Indeed, this is true 
of nearly all animals. Leadership is not always maintained by 
the largest and strongest member of a lierdj, but very often 
by the most pugnacious. Sometimes a herd of elk is com- 
pletely tyrannized by an old doe, who makes the young bucks 
fly from her in terror, when one prod of their sharp antlers 
would quickly send her to the rear. 

When bucks in a state of freedom fight for supremacy, the 
weaker does not stay to be overthrown and speared to death 
by the victor. As soon as he feels that he is mastered he 
releases his antlers at the first opportunity, flings himself to 
one side, and either remains in the herd as an acknowledged 
subject of the victor, or else seeks fresh fields and pastures new. 

Battles in Zoological Parks. In captivity, where escape 
is impossible, it is no uncommon thing for elk to kill each other. 


In fact, with several adult males in a small enclosure, tragedies 
may always be expected in the autumn and early winter. 
The process is very simple. So long as the two elk can stand 
up and fight head to head, there are no casualties; but when 
one wearies and weakens before the other, its guard is broken. 
Then one strong thrust in its side or shoulder sends it to the 
earth, badly wounded; and before it can rise, it is generally 
stabbed to death with horn thrusts into its lungs and liver. 
But, as I said before, I have never known of a fatal duel between 
elk outside of a zoological garden or park. 

One of the most novel and interesting fights that has yet 
taken place in the New York Zoological Park was a pitched 
battle between two cow elk — May Queen and the Dowager. 
A bunch of black fungus suddenly appeared on the trunk of 
a tree, about twelve feet from the ground. My attention was 
first called to this by seeing May Queen, a fine young cow, 
standing erect on her hind legs in order to reach the tempting 
morsel with her mouth. A little later the Dowager, the 
oldest and largest cow elk in the herd, met her under the tree, 
whereupon the two made wry faces at each other, and champed 
their teeth together threateningly. Suddenly both cows rose 
on their hind legs, struck out viciously with their sharp pointed 
front hoofs, and, after a lively sparring bout, they actually 
clinched. The young cow got both front legs of the old cow 
between her own, where they were held practically helpless, 
and then with her own front hoofs she fiercely rained blows 
upon the ribs of her assailant. The Dowager backed away 
and fled, completely vanquished, with May Queen close upon 
her heels; and thus was the tyrannical rule of the senior cow 
overthrown forever. 

During the breedingseason, our wild buffaloes of the great 
vanished herds were much given to fighting, and always through 
jealousy. The buUs bellowed until they could be heard for 
miles, tore up earth and threw it into the air, rolled their eyes, 
and often rushed together in a terrifying manner; but beyond 


butting their heads, pushing and straining until the weaker 
turned and ran, nothing came of it all. I have yet to find a 
man who ever saw a wild buffalo that had been wounded to 
the shedding of blood by another wild buffalo. It is probable 
that no other species ever fought so fiercely and did so little 
damage as the American bison. 

Elephants, Wolves, and Others. In ordinary life the 
Indian elephant is one of the most even-tempered of aU animals. 
I have spent hours in watching wild herds in southern India, 
sometimes finding the huge beasts all around me, and in 
dangerously close proximity. Several times I could have 
touched a wild elephant with a carriage whip, had I possessed 
one. So far from fighting, I never saw an elephant threaten 
or even annoy another. 

Elephants, being the most intelligent of all animals in the 
matter of training, have been educated to fight in the arena, 
usually by pushing each other head to head. A fighting tusker 
can lord it over almost any number of tuskless elephants, 
because he can pierce their vitals, and they cannot pierce his. 
A female fights by hitting with her head, striking her antagonist 
amidships, if possible. Once when the late G. P. Sanderson 
was in a keddah, noosing wild elephants, and was assulted by 
a vicious tusker, his life was saved by a tame female elephant, 
whose boy driver caused her to attack the tusker with her 
head, and nearly bowl him over by the force of her blows 
upon his ribs. 

In captivity, wolves are the meanest brutes on earth, and 
in a wild state they are no better. As a rule, the stronger 
ones are ever ready to kill the weaker ones, and eat them, too. 
One night, our male Russian wolf killed his mate, and ate 
nearly half of her before morning. A fox or a wolf cub which 
thrusts one of its legs between the partition bars and into 
a wolf's den almost invariably gets it bitten off as close to the 
body as the biter can go. In the arctic regions, north of the 
Great Slave Lake, "Buffalo" Jones and George Rea ^fought 


wolves incessantly for several days, and every wolf they 
wounded was immediately killed and devoured by its pack 

In captivity, a large proportion of mammals fight, more or 
less; and the closer the confinement, the greater their nervous- 
ness and irritability, and the more fighting. Monkeys fight 
freely and frequently. Serpents, lizards, and alligators rarely 
do, although large alligators are prone to bite off the tails or 
legs of their small companions, or even to devoiir them whole. 
Storks, trumpeter swans, darters, jays, and some herons are so 
quarrelsome and dangerous that they must be kept well sepa- 
rated from other species, to prevent mutilation and murder. 
In 1900, when a pair of trumpeter swans were put upon a lake 
in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, with three brown pelicans for 
associates, they promptly assailed the pelicans, dug holes in 
their backs, and killed all three. The common red sqmrrel is 
a persistent fighter of the gray species, and, although inferior 
in size, nearly always wins. 

A Fight Between a Whale and a Swordfish. One 01 
the strangest wild animal combats on record was thus described 
in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, for 1909. 

"Mr. Malcolm Maclaren, through Mr. C. Davies Sherborn, 
F. Z. S., called the attention of the Fellows to an account of 
a fight between a whale and a swordfish observed by the crew 
of the fishing-boat 'Daisy' in the Hauraki GuU, between Ponui 
Island and Coromandel, as reported in the 'Auckland Weekly 
News,' 19th Nov., 1908. A cow whale and her calf were 
attacked by a 12 ft. 6 in. swordfish, the object of the fish being 
the caJf. The whale plunged about and struck in all directions 
with her flukes. Occasionally the fins of the swordfish were 
seen as he rose from a dive, his object apparently being to 
strike from below. For over a quarter of an hour the whale 
circled round her calf, lashing furiously and churning up the 
water so that the assailant was unable to secure a good oppor- 
tunity for a thrust. At last, after a fruitless dive, the swordfish 


came dose up and made a thrust at the calf, but received a 
blow from the whale's flukes across the back, which apparently 
paralyzed it. It was killed and hauled on board the boat 
without difficulty, while the whale and caU went off towards 
Coromandel with splashings and plungings. The whale's blow 
had almost knocked off the back fin of the swordfish, and 
heavily bruised the flesh around it. No threshers accompanied 
the swordfish." 

Beyond question, as firearms and hunters multiply, all wild 
animals become more timid, less inclined to attack man, and 
also less inclined to attack one another. The higher creatures 
are the most affected by man's destructiveness of animal life, 
and the struggle for existence has become so keen that fighting 
for the glory of supremacy, or as a pastime, will soon have no 
itnportant place in the lives of wild animals. 



MANY human beings are "good" because they never 
have been under the harrow of circumstances, nor 
sufficiently tempted to do wrong. It is only under 
the strain of strong temptation that human character is put 
through the thirty-third degree and tried out. No doubt a 
great many of us could be provoked to join a mob for murder, 
or forced to steal, or tortured into- homicidal insanity. It is 
only under the artificial conditions of captivity, with loss of 
freedom, exemption from the daily fear of death, abundant 
food without compensating labor, and with every want supplied, 
that the latent wickedness of wild creatures comes to the 
siurface. A captive animal often reveals traits never recognized 
in the free individual. 

"Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." 
These manifestations are of many kinds; but we propose to 
consider the criminal tendencies of wild animals both free and 

The persistence of the mental and moral parallelism between 
men and wild animals is a source of constant surprise. In a 
state of freedom, untrammeled by anything save the fear of 
death by violence, the deer or the mountain sheep works out 
in his own way his chosen scheme for the survival of the 
fittest, — himself. In the wilds we see very few manifestations 
of the criminal instinct. A fight between wild elk bulls for 
the supremacy of a herd is not a manifestation of murder lust, 
but of obedience to the fundamental law of evolution that the 
the largest, the strongest and the most courageous males of 
every herd shall do the breeding. 



The killing of natural prey for daily food is not murder. 
A starving wolf on the desolate barren grounds may even kill 
and devour a wounded pack-mate without becoming a criminal 
by that act alone. True, such a manifestation of hard-hearted- 
ness and bad taste is very reprehensible; but its cause is hunger, 
not sheer blackness of heart. Among wild animals, the wanton 
killing of a member of the killer's own species would constitute 
murder in the first degree, and so is all unnecessary and wanton 
killing outside the killer's own species. 

To many a wild animal there comes at times the murder 
lust which under the spur of opportunity leads to genuine 
crime. In some of the many cases that have come under my 
notice, the desire to commit murder for the sake of murder 
has been as sharply defined as the fangs or horns of the crim- 
inal. Of the many emotions of wild animals which are revealed 
more sharply in captivity than in a state of nature, the crime- 
producing passions, of jealousy, hatred, desire for revenge, and 
devihsh lust for innocent blood, are most prominent. In the 
management of large animals in captivity, the criminal instinct 
is quite as great a trouble-breeder and source of anxiety as are 
wild-animal diseases, and the constant struggle with the 

In many cases there is not the slightest premonitory mani- 
festation of murderous intent on the part of a potential crim- 
inal. Indeed, with most cimning wisdom, a wild-animal 
murderer will often conceal his purpose until outside inter- 
ference is an impossibility, and the victim is entirely helpless. 
These manifestations of fiendish cunning and premeditation 
are very exasperating to those responsible for the care of 
animals in captivity. 

In every well regulated zoological park, solitary confine- 
ment is regarded as an unhappy or intolerable condition. 
Animals that live in herds and groups in large enclosures always 
exercise more, have better appetites, and are much more 
contented and happy than individuals that are singly confined. 


To visitors, a happy and contented community of deer, ante- 
lopes, bears, wolves, or birds is a source of far more mental 
satisfaction than could be found in any number of solitary 
animals. A small pen with a solitary animal in it at once 
suggests the prison-and-prisoner idea, and sometimes arouses 
pity and compassion rather than pleased admiration. The 
peaceful herd or flock is the thing to strive for as the highest 
ideal attainable in an exhibition of wild animals. But mark 
well the difficulties. 

All the obstacles encountered in carrying out the community 
idea are created lyy the evil propensities of the animals themselves. 
Among the hoofed animals generally, every pair of horns and 
front hoofs is a possible storm-center. No keeper knows 
whether the members of his herd of deer will live together in 
peace and contentment until tomorrow, or whether, on any 
autumn or winter night, a buck will suddenly develop in his 
antlered head the thought that it is a good time to "kill 

In the pairing season we always watch for trouble, and 
the danger signal always is up. In October a male elk may 
become ever so savage, and finally develop into a raging 
demon, dangerous to man and beast; but when he first manifests 
his new temper openly and in the broad light of day, we feel 
that he is treating fairly both his herd-mates and his keepers. 
If he gives fair warning to the world about him, we must not 
class him as a mean criminal, no matter what he may do later 
on. It is our duty to corral him at night according to the 
violence of his rage. If we separate him from the herd, and 
he tears a fence in pieces and kills his rival, that is honest, 
open warfare, not foul murder. But take the followiiLg case. 

In October, 1905, the New York Zoological Park received 
from the state of Washington a young mule deer buck and 
two does. Being conspicuous members of the worst species 
of "difficult" deer to keep alive at Atlantic tidewater, and 
being also very thin and weak, it required the combined efforts 


of several persons to keep them alive. For six months they 
moped about their corral, but at last they began to improve. 
The oldest doe gave birth to two favms which actually survived. 
But, even when the next mating season began, the buck con- 
tinued to be lanquid and blas€. At no time did he exhibit 
signs of temper, of even suspicious vigor. 

In the middle of the night of November 6, 1906, without 
the slightest warning, he decided to commit a murder, and the 
mother of the two nursing fawns was selected as the victim. 
Being weak from the rearing of her offspring, she was at his 
mercy. He gored her most savagely, about twenty times, and 
killed her. 

That was deliberate, fiendish and cowardly murder. The 
killing of any female animal by her male consort is murder; 
but there are circumstances wherein the plea of temporary 
insanity is an admissible defense. In the autumn, male mem- 
bers of the deer family often become temporarily insane and 
irresponsible, and should be judged accordingly. With us, 
sexual insanity is a recognized disease. 

Such distressing cases as the above are so common that 
whenever I go deer-hunting and kill a lusty buck, the thought 
occurs to me, — "another undeveloped murderer, perhaps!" 

The most exasperating thing about these corral murders is 
the cunning treachery of the murderers. Here is another 
typical case: For three years a dainty little male Osceola 
deer from Florida was as gentle as a fawn and as harmless as 
a dove. But one crisp morning Keeper Quinn, to whom every 
doe in his charge is like a foster-daughter, was horrified at 
finding blood on the absurd little antlers of the Osceola pet. 
One of the females lay dead in a da^k comer where she had 
been murdered during the night; and this with another and 
older buck in the same corral which might fairly have been 
regarded as an offensive rival. 

The desire to murder for the sake of killing is bom in 
some camivordus animals, and by others it is achieved. Among 


the largest and finest of the felines, the lions and tigers, mid- 
night murders very rarely occur. We never have known one. 
Individual dislike is shown boldly and openly, and we are 
given a fair chance to prevent fatalities. Among the lions, 
tigers, leopards, jaguars and pumas of the New York Zoological 
Park, there has been but one murder. That was the crime of 
Lopez, the big jaguar, who richly deserved instant death as 
a punishment. It was one of the most cunning crimes I have 
ever seen among wild animals, and is now historic. 

For a year Lopez pretended, ostentatiously, to be a good- 
natured animal! Twenty times at least he acted the part of 
a pla3rful pet, inviting me to reach in and stroke him. At 
last we decided to give him a cage-mate, and a fine adult 
female jaguar was purchased. The animals actually tried to 
caress each other through the bars, and the big male completely 
deceived us, one and all. 

At the end of two days it was considered safe to permit 
the female jaguar to enter the cage of Lopez. She was just 
as much deceived as we were. An animal that is afraid always 
leaves its traveling-cage slowly and unwillingly, or refuses to 
leave it at all. When the two sets of doors were opened, the 
female joyously walked into the cage of her treacherous admirer. 
In an instant, Lopez rushed upon her, seized her whole neck 
in his powerfxil jaws, and crushed her cervical vertebrae by 
his awful bite. We beat him over the head; we spiked him; 
we even tried to brain him; but he held her, as a buU-dog would 
hold a cat, until she was dead. He had determined to murder 
her, but had cunningly concealed his purpose until his victim 
was fully in his power. 

Bears usually fight "on the square," openly and above- 
board, rarely committing foul murder. If one bear hates 
another, he attacks at the very first opportunity, He does 
not cunningly wait to catch the offender at a disadvantage 
and beyond the possibility of rescue. Sometimes a captive 
bear kiUs a cage-mate or mauls a keeper, but not by the sneak- 


ing methods of the human assassin who shoots in the dark 
and runs away. 

I do not count the bear as a conamon criminal, even though 
at rare intervals he kills a cage-mate smaller and weaker than 
himself. One killing of that kind, done by Cinnamon Jim to 
a small black bear that had annoyed Him beyond all endurance, 
was inflicted as a legitimate punishment, and was so recorded. 
The attack of two large bears, a Syrian and a sloth bear, 
upon a small Japanese black bear, in which the big pair 
deliberately attempted to disembowel the small victim, biting 
hun only in the abdomen, always has been a puzzle to me. 
I cannot fathom the idea which possessed those two ursine 
minds; but I have no doubt that some of the book-making 
men who read the minds of wild animals as if they were open 
books could tell me all about it. 

On the ice-pack in front of his stone hut at the north end 
of the Franz Josef Archipelago Nansen saw an occurrence that 
was plain murder. A large male polar bear feeding upon a 
dead walrus was approached across the ice-pack by two polar- 
bear cubs. The gorging male immediately stopped feeding 
and rushed toward the small intruders. They turned and 
fled wildly; but the villain pursued them, far out upon the 
ice. He overtook them, killed both, and then serenely re- 
turned to his solitary feast. 

In February, 1907, a tragedy occurred in the Zoological 
Park which was a close parallel of the Lopez murder. It was 
a case in which my only crumb of satisfaction was in my ability 
to say, "I told you so," — than which no consolation can be 
more barren. 

For seven years there had lived together in the great 
polar bears' den of the Zoological Park two full-grown, very 
large and fine polar bears. They came from William Hagen- 
beck's great group, and both were males. Their rough-and- 
tumble wrestling, both in the swimming pool and out of it, 
was a sight of almost perennial interest; and while their biting 


and boxing was of the roughest character, and frequently 
drew blood, they never got angry, and never had a real fight. 

In the autumn of 1906 one of the animals sickened and 
died, and presently the impression prevailed that the survivor 
was lonesome. The desirability of introducing a female com- 
panion was spoken of, but I was afraid to try the experiment. 

By and by, Mr. Carl Hagenbeck, who had handled about 
forty polar bears to my one, wrote to us, offering a fine female 
polar as a mate to the survivor. She was conceded to be one- 
third smaller than the big male, but was fully adult. Without 
loss of time I answered, declining to make the purchase, on 
the ground that our male bear would kill the female. It was 
my belief that even if he did not at once deliberately murder 
her, he soon would wear her out by his rough play. 

Mr. Hagenbeck replied with the assurance that, in his 
opinion, aU would be well; that, instead of a tragedy taking 
place, the male would be delighted With a female companion, 
and that the pair would breed. As convincing proof of the 
sincerity of his views, Mr. Hagenbeck offered to lose half the 
purchase price of the female bear in the event that my worst 
fears were realized. 

I asked the opinion of our head keeper of bears, and after 
due reflection he said: 

"Why, no; I don't believe he'd kill her. He's not a had 
bear at all. I think we could work it so that there would be 
no great trouble." 

Mr. Hagenbeck's son also felt sure there would be no 

Quite against my own judgment of polar-bear character, 
but in deference to the expert opinion arrayed against mine, 
I finally yielded^ The female bear was purchased, and on her 
arrival she was placed for three weeks in the large shifting- 
cage which connects with the eastern side of the great polar 
bears' den. 

The two animals seemed glad to see each other. At once 


they fraternized through the bars, licked each other's noses, 
and ate their meals side by side. At night the male always 
slept as near as possible to his new companion. There was 
not a sign of ill temper; but, for all that, my doubts were ever 

At last, after three full weeks of close acquaintance, it was 
agreed that there was nothing to be gained by longer delay 
in admitting the female to the large den. But we made 
preparations for trouble. The door of the sleeping-den was 
oiled and overhauled and put in thorough working order, so 
that if the female should dash into it for safety, a keeper could 
instantly slide the barrier and shut her in. We provided 
pike-poles, long iron bars, lariats, meat, and long planks a 
foot wide. Heartily wishing myself a hundred miles away, 
I summoned all my courage and gave the order: 

"Open her door, a foot only, and let her put her head out. 
Keep him away." 

The female bear had not the slightest fear or premonition 
of danger. Thrusting her head through the narrow opening, 
she looked upon the world and the open sky above, and found 
that it was good. She struggled to force the door open wider; 
and the male stood back, waiting. 

"Let her go!" 

Forcing the door back with her own eager strength, she 
fearlessly dropped the intervening eighteen inches to the floor 
of the den, and was free. The very next second the male flung 
his great bulk upon her, and the tragedy was on. 

I would not for five thousand dollars see such a thing again. 
A hundred times in the twenty minutes that followed I bitterly 
regretted my folly in acting contrary to my own carefully 
formed conclusions regarding the temper, the strength, and the 
mental processes of that male bear. 

He never left her alone for ten seconds, save when, at five 
or six different times, we beat him off by literally ramming 
him away. When she first fell, the slope of the floor brought 


her near the cage bars, which gave us a chance to fight for her. 
We beat him over the head; we drove big steel spikes into 
him; and we rammed him with planks, not caring how many 
bones we might break. But each time that we beat him off, 
and the poor harried female rose to her feet, he flung himself 
upon her anew, crushed her down upon the snow, and fought 
to reach her throat! 

Gallantly the female fought for her life, with six wild men 
to help her. After a long battle, — ^it seemed like hours, but 
I suppose it was between twenty and thirty minutes, the 
male bear recognized the fact that so long as the female lay 
near the bars his own punishment would continue and the 
end would be postponed. Forthwith he seized his victim and 
dragged her inward and down to the ice that covered the 
swimming-pool in the centre of the den, beyond our reach. 
The floor of the den was so slippery from ice and snow that it 
was utterly unsafe for any of our men to enter and try to 
approach the now furious animal within striking distance. 

Very qxiickly some choice pieces of fresh meat were thrown 
within six feet of the bears, in the hope that the male would 
be tempted away from his victim. In vain ! Then, with all 
possible haste. Keeper Mulvehill coiled a lasso, bravely entered 
the den, and with the first throw landed the noose neatly 
around the neck of the male beilr. In a second it was jerked 
taut, the end passed through the bars, and ten eager arms 
dragged the big bear away from his victim and close up to the 
bars. Another lariat was put on him to guard against break- 
ages, and no bear ever missed being choked to death by a 
narrower margin than did that one. That morsel of revenge 
was sweet. While he was held thus, two men went in and 
attached a rope to the now djring female, and she was quickly 
dragged into the shifting-cage. 

But the rescue came too late. At the last moment on the 
ice, the canine teeth of the big bear had severed the jugular 
vein of the female, and in two minutes after her rescue she was 


It is my belief that at first the male did not intend to 
murder the female. I think his first impulse was to play with 
her, as he had always done with the male comrade of his own 
size. But the joy of conibat seized him, and after that his only 
purpose was to kill. My verdict was, not premeditated 
murder, but murder in the second degree. 

In the order of carnivorous animals, I think the worst 
criminals are found in the Marten Family {Mustelidae); and 
if there is a more murderous villain than the mink, I have 
yet to find him out. The mink is a midnight assassin, who 
loves slaughter for the joy of murder. The wolverine, the 
marten, mink and weasel are all courageous, savage and merci- 
less. To the wolverine Western trappers accord the evil 
distinction of being a veritable imp of darkness on four legs. 
To them he is the arch-fiend, beyond which animal cunning 
and depravity cannot go. Excepting the profane history of 
the pickings and stealings of this "mountain devil" as recorded 
by suffering trappers, I know little of it; but if its instincts are 
not supremely murderous, its reputation is no index of its 

The mink, however, is a creature that we know and fear. 
Along the rocky shores of the Bronx River, even in the Zoo- 
logical Park, it perversely persisted long after our park- 
building began. In spite of traps, guns, and poison, and the 
killing of from three to five aimually in our Park, Putorius 
vison would not give up. With us, the only creatures that 
practiced wholesale and unnecessary murder were minks and 
dogs. The former killed our birds, and during one awful 
period when a certain fence was being rebuilt, the latter 
destroyed several deer. A mink once visited an open-air yard 
containing twenty-two pinioned laughing gulls, and during 
that noche triste killed all of those ill-fated birds. It did not 
devour even one, and it sucked the blood of only two or three. 

On another tragic occasion a mink slaughtered an entire 
flock of fifteen gulls; but its joy of killing was short-lived, for 
it was quickly caught and clubbed to death. A miserable 


little weasel killed three fine brant geese, purely for the love of 
murder; and then he departed this life by the powder-and-lead 

All the year round captive buffalo bulls are given to fighting, 
and for one bull to injure or kill another is an occurrence all 
too common. Even in the great twenty-seven thousand acre 
reserve of the Corbin Blue Mountain Forest Association, fatal 
fights sometimes occur. It was left to a large buU named 
Black Beauty, in our Zoological Park herd, to reveal the 
disagreeable fact that under certain circumstances a buffalo 
may become a cunning and deliberate assassin. 

In the spring of 1904, a new buffalo buU, named Apache, 
was added to the portion of our herd which up to that time 
had been dominated by Black Beauty. We expected the usual 
head-to-head battle for supremacy, succeeded by a period of 
peace and quiet. It is the law of the herd that after every 
contest for supremacy the vanquished bull shall accept the 
situation philosophically, and thereafter keep his place. 

At the end of a half-hour of fierce struggle, head-to-head, 
Black Beauty was overpowered by Apache, and fled from him 
into the open range. To emphasize his victory, Apache fol- 
lowed him around and around at a quiet walk, for several 
hours; but the beaten bull always kept a factor of safety of 
about two hundred feet between himself and the master of 
the herd. Convinced that Black Beauty would no longer 
dispute his supremacy, Apache at last pronounced for peace 
and thought no more about the late unpleasantness. His rival 
seemed to accept the situation, and rejoined the herd on the 
subdued status of an ex-president. 

For several days nothing occurred; but all the while Black 
Beauty was biding his time and watching for an opportunity. 
At last it came. As Apache lay dozing and ruminating on a 
sunny hill-side, his beaten rival quietly drifted around his 
resting-place, stealthily secured a good position, and, without 
a second's warning plunged his sharp horns deep into the 


lungs of the reclining bull. With the mad energy of pent-up 
and superheated fury, the assassin delivered stab after stab 
into the unprotected side of the helpless victim, and before 
Apache could gain his feet he had been gored many times. 
He lived only a few minutes. 

It was foul murder, fully premeditated; and had Black 
Beauty been my personal property, he would have been 
executed for the crime, without any objections, or motions, or 
appeals, or far-fetched certificates of unreasonable doubt. 

During the past twenty years a number of persons have 
been treacherously murdered by animals they had fed and 
protected. One of the most deplorable of these tragedies 
occurred late in 1906, near Montclair, New Jersey. Mr. 
Herbert Bradley was the victim. While walking through his 
deer park, he was wantonly attacked by a white-tailed buck 
and murdered on the spot. At Helena, Montana, a strong 
man armed with a pitchfork was killed by a bull elk. There 
have been several other fatalities from elk. 

The greater number of such crimes as the above have been 
committed by members of the Deer Family (deer, elk, moose 
and caribou). The hollow-homed ruminants seem to be 
different. I believe that toward their keepers the bison, 
buffaloes and wild cattle entertain a certain measure of respect 
that in members of the Deer Family often is totally absent. 
But there are exceptions; and a very sad and notable case was 
the murder of Richard W. Rock, of Henry's Lake, Idaho, 
in 1903. 

Dick Rock was a stalwart ranchman in the prime of life, 
who possessed a great fondness for big-game animals. He 
Kved not far from the western boundry of the Yellowstone 
Park. He liked to rope elk and moose in winter, and haul 
them on sleds to his ranch; to catch mountain goats or mule 
deer for exhibition; and to breed buffaloes. His finest bull 
buffalo, named Indian, was one of his favorites, and was 
broken to ride! Scores of times Rock rode him around the 


corral, barebacked and without bridle or halter. Rock felt 
that he could confidently trust the animal, and he never 
dreamed of guarding himself against a possible evil day. 

But one day the blood lust seized the buffalo, and he 
decided to assassinate his best friend. The next time Dick 
Rock entered the corral, closing the gate and fastening it 
securely, — thus shutting himself in, — the big bull attached 
him so suddenly and fiercely that there was not a moment for 
either escape or rescue. We can easily estimate the sudden- 
ness of the attack by the fact that alert and active Dick Rock 
had not time even to dimb upon the fence of the corral, where- 
by his life would have been saved. With a mighty upward 
thrust, the treacherous bull drove one of his horns deeply into 
his master's body, and impaled him so completely and so 
securely that the man hung there and died there! As a 
crowning horror, the bull was unable to dislodge his victim, 
and the body of the ranchman was carried about the corral on 
the horns of his assassin until the horrified wife went a mile and 
a half and summoned a neighbor, who brought a rifie and 
executed the murderer on the spot. 

Such sudden onslaughts as this make it unsafe to trust 
implicitly, and without recourse, to the good temper of any 
animal having dangerous horns. 

If bird-loyers knew the prevalence of the murder instinct 
among the feathered folk, no doubt they would be greatly 
shocked. Many an innocent-looking bird is really a natural 
villain without opportunity to indulge in crime. It is in 
captivity that the wickedness inherent in wild creatures comes 
to the surface and becomes visible. In the open, the weak 
ones manage to avoid danger, and to escape when threatened; 
but, with twenty birds in one large cage, escape is not always 
possible. A "happy family" of a dozen o): twenty different 
species often harbors a criminal in its midst; and when the 
criminal cunningly waits until all possibilities of rescue are 
eliminated, an assassination is the result. 

This bison treacherously killed the man soon after this picture was made 

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Here is a partial list. of the crimes in our bird collection 
during one year: 

A green jay killed a blue jay. A jay-thrush and several 
smaller birds were killed by laughing thrushes, — which simply 
love to do murder! A nightingale was killed by a catbird and 
two mocking-birds. Two snake-birds killed a third one — all 
of them thoroughly depraved villains. Three guUs murdered 
another; a brown pelican was killed by trumpeter-swans; and 
a Canada goose was killed by a gull. All these victims were 
birds in good health. 

It is deplorable, but nevertheless true, that in large mixed 
companies of birds, say where forty or fifty live together, it is 
a common thing for a sick bird to be set upon and killed, unless 
rescued by the keepers. In crimes of this class birds often 
murder their own kind, but they are quite as ready to kill 
members of other species. In 1902 a sick brant goose was 
killed by its mates; and so were a red-tailed hawk, two saras 
cranes, two black vultures, a road-runner, and a great homed 
owl. An aged and sickly wood ibis was killed by a whooping 
crane; and a night heron killed its mate. 

Strange as it may seem, among reptiles there is far less of 
real first-degree murder than among mammals and birds. 
Twenty rattlesnakes may be crowded together in one cage, 
without a family jar. Even among cobras, perhaps the most 
irritable and pugnacious of all serpents, I think one snake 
never wantonly murders another, although about once in 
twenty years one will try to swallow another. The big pythons 
and anacondas never fight, nor try to commit murder. And 
yet, a twenty-foot regal python with a bad heart — ^Uke Nansen's 
polar bear — could easily constrict and kill any available snake 
of smaller size. 

At this moment I do not recall one instance of wanton 
murder among serpents. It is well known that some snakes 
devour other snakes; but that is not crime. The record of 
the crocodilians is not so clear. It is a common thing for the 


large alligators in our Reptile House to battle for supremacy 
and in these contests several fatalities have occurred. Some 
of these occurrences are not of the criminal sort; but when a 
twelve-foot alligator attacks and kills a six-foot individual, 
entirely out of his class and far too small to fight with him, 
it is murder. An alligator will seize the leg of a rival and by 
violently whirling around on his axis, like a revolving shaft, 
twist the leg completely off. 

Among sea creatures, the clearly defined criminal instinct, 
as exhibited aside from the never-ending struggle for existence 
and the quest of food, is rarely observed, possibly because 
opportunities are so few. The sanguinary exploits of the 
grampus, or whale-killer, among whales small enough to be 
killed and eaten, are the onslaughts of a marine glutton in 
quest of food. 

Among the fishes there is one murderer whose evil rep- 
utation is well deserved. The common swordfish of the 
Atlantic, forty miles or so oS Block Island or Montauk Point, 
is not only one of the most fearless of all fishes, but it also is 
the most dangerous. His fierce attacks upon the boats of 
men who have harpooned him and seek to kill him are well 
known, and his unparalleled courage fairly challenges our 
wonder and admiration. But, unfortunately, the record of 
the swordfish is stained with crime. When the spirit of 
murder prompts him to commit a crime in sheer wantonness, 
he will attack a whale, stab the unfortunate monster again 
and again, and pursue it until it is dead. This is prompted 
solely by brutality and murdei! lust, for the swordfish feeds 
upon fish, and never attempts to eat any portion of a whale. 

It can easily be proved that wild animals in a normal 
state of nature are by no means as much given to murder, 
either of their own kind or other kinds, as are many races of 
men. The infrequency of animal murders cannot be due 
wholly to the many possibilities for the intended victim to 
escape, nor to difficulty in killing. In every wild species 


murders are abundantly possible; but it is wholly against the 
laws of nature for free wild beasts to kill one another in wan- 
tonness. It is left to the savage races of men to commit 
murders without cause, and to destroy one another by fire. 
The family crimes and cruelties of people both civilized and 
savage completely eclipse in blackness and in number the 
doings of even the worst wild beasts. 

In wild animals and in men, crime is an index to character. 
The finest species of animals and the noblest races of men are 
alike distinguished by their abhorrence of the abuse of the 
helpless and the shedding of innocent blood. The lion, the 
elephant, the wild horse, the grizzly bear, the orang-utan, the 
eagle and the whooping crane are singularly free from the 
criminal instinct. On the other hand, even today Africa 
contains tribes whose members are actually fond of practicing 
cruelty and murder. In the Dark Continent there has lived 
many a "king" beside whom a hungry lion or a grizzly bear is 
a noble citizen. 



THE study of the intelligence and temperaments of wild 
animals is by no means a pursuit of academic interest 
only. Men now are mixing up with dangerous wild 
beasts far more extensively than ever before, and many times 
a life or death issue hangs upon the man's understanding of the 
animal mind. I could cite a long and gruesome list of trainers, 
keepers and park owners who have been killed by the animals 
they did not correctly understand. 

Not long ago, it was a park owner who was killed by a 
dangerous deer. Next it was a bull elk who killed the keeper 
who imdertook to show that the animal was afraid of him. 
In Idaho we saw a death-penalty mistake with a bull buffalo. 
Recently, in Spain, an American ape trainer was killed by his 
big male chimpanzee. Recently in Switzerland a snake- 
charmer was strangled and killed on the stage by her python. 

Men who keep or who handle dangerous animals owe it to 
themselves, their heirs and their assigns to know the animal 
mind and temperament, and to keep on the safe side. 

In view of the tragedies and near-tragedies that animal 
trainers and keepers have been through during the past twenty 
years, I am desirous of so vividly exhibiting the wild animal 
mind and temper that at least a few of the mistakes of the past 
may be avoided in the future. Fortunately I am able to state 
that thus far no one ever has been killed by all animal in the 
Zoological Park; but several of our men have been severely 
hurt. The writer hereof carries two useless fingers on his best 
hand as a reminder of a fracas with a savage bear. 



How Dangerous Animals Attack Men. The following 
may be listed as the wild animals most dangerous to man: 

1, In the open: Alaskan brown bears, the grizzly bears, 
lion, tiger, elephant, leopard, wolf, African buffalo, Indian 
gaur and buffalo, and gorilla. 

All these species are dangerous to the man who meddles 
with them, either to kill or to capture them. If they are not 
molested by man, there is very little to fear from any of them 
save the man-eating lions and tigers, the northern wolf packs, 
Alaskan brown bears and rogue elephants. 

2. In captivity, or in process of capture: Under this 
head a special list may be thus composed: 

Male elk and deer in the rutting season; male elephants 
over fifteen years of age; all bears over one year of age, and 
especially "pet" bears; all gorillas, chimpanzees and orangs over 
seven years of age (puberty) ; all adult male baboons, gibbons, 
rhesus monkeys, callithrix or green monkeys, Japanese red- 
faced monkeys and large macaques; many adult bison buUs and 
cows of individually bad temper; also gaur. Old World buffalo, 
anoa bulls, many individually bad African antelopes, gnus and 
hartebeests; all lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, wolves, hyenas, 
and all male zebras and wild asses over four years of age. 

How they attack. The lion, tiger and bear laimches at a 
man's head or face a lightning-quick and powerful fore-paw 
blow that in one stroke tears the skin and flesh in long gashes, 
and knocks down the victim with stunning force. Before 
recovery is possible the assailant rushes to the prostrate man 
and begins to bite or to tear him. Instinctively the fallen man 
covers his face with his arms, and with the lion, tiger and 
leopard the arms come in for fearful punishment. It is the way 
of carnivorous beasts to attack each other head to head and 
mouth to mouth, and this same instinct leads these animals to 
focus their initial attacks upon the heads and faces of their 
human quarry. 

After a man-eating lion or tiger has reduced the human 


victim to a state of non-resistance, the great beast seizes the 
man by a bite embracing the chest, and with the feet dragging 
upon the ground rushes ofi to a place of safety to devour him at 
leisure. Dr. David Livingston was seized alive by a lion, and 
carried I forget how many yards without a stop. His left 
humerus was broken in the onset, but the lion abandoned him 
without doing him any further serious harm. 

Once I could not believe that a lion or a tiger could pick up a 
man in his mouth and rapidly carry him off, as a fox gets away 
with a chicken; but when I shot a male tiger weighing 495 
pounds, standing 37 inches high and measuring 35 inches around 
his jaws, I was forever convinced. In the Malay Peninsula 
Captain Syers told me that a tiger leaped a stockade seven 
feet high, seized a Chinese woodcutter, leaped out with him, and 
carried him away. 

In a scrimmage with a lion or tiger in the open, the fight is 
not prolonged. It is a case of kill or be killed quickly. The 
time of times for steady nerves and perfectly accurate shooting 
is when a lion, tiger or bear charges the hunter at full speed, 
beginning sufficiently far away to give the hunter a sporting 
chance. The hunter can not afford to he "scared!" It is liable 
to cost too much! 

The Alaskan brown bear has a peculiar habit. Occasionally 
he kills the hunter he has struck down, but very often he con- 
tents himself with biting his victim on his fleshy parts, literally 
from head to foot. More than one unfortunate amateur hunter 
has been fearfully bitten without having a bone broken, and 
without having an important artery or vein severed. Such 
unfortunates lie upon their faces, with their arms protecting 
their heads as best they can, and take the awful punishment 
until the bear tires of it and goes away. Then they crawl, on 
hands and knees, to come within reach of discovery and help. 
In the annals of Alaska's frontier life there are some heart- 
rending records of cases such as I have described, coupled with 
some marvellous recoveries. 


Strange to say, bear bites or scratches almost never produce 
blood poisoningi This seems very strange, for the bites of lions, 
tigers and leopards very frequently end in blood poisoning, 
incurable fever and death. This probably is due to the clean 
mouth of the omnivorous bear ajid the infected mouth of the 
large cats, from putrid meat between their teeth. 

The wolf is particularly dangerous to his antagonists, man 
or beast, from the cutting power of his fearful snap. His molar 
teeth shear through flesh and small bones like the gash of a 
butcher's cleaver; and his wide gape and lightning-quick move- 
ments render him a very dangerous antagonist. The bite of a 
wolf is the most dangerous to man of any animal bite to which 
keepers are liable, and it is the law of zoological gardens and 
parks that every wolf bite means a quick application of anti- 
rabies treatment at a Pasteur institute. Personally, I would 
be no more scared by a wolf-bite than by a feline bite, but the 
verdict of the jury is, — "it is best to be on the safe side." 

Buck elk and deer very, very rarely attack men in the wilds, 
unless they have been wounded and brought to bay; and then 
very naturally they fight furiously. It is the attacks of captive 
or park-bred animals that are most to be feared. 

All the deer that I know attack in the same way, — ^first by 
a slow push forward, in order to come to close quarters without 
getting hurt, and then follows the relentless push, push, push to 
get up steam for the final raging and death-dealing drive. 
Even in fighting each other, buck elk and deer do not come 
together with a long run and a grand crash. Each potential 
fighter /ears /or his own eyes, and conserves them by a cautious 
and deliberate engaging process. This is referred to in another 

Fortunately for poor humanity, the same slow and cautious 
tactics are adopted when a buck deer or wapiti decides to 
attack a man. This gives the man in the case a chance to put 
up his defense. 

The attacking deer lowers his head, throws his antlers far 


to the front, and pushes for the body of the man. The instant 
a tine touches the soft breast or abdomen, he lunges forward 
to drive it in. But thanks to that life-saving slow start, the 
man is mercifully afforded a few seconds of time in which to 
save himself, or at least delay the punishment. 

No man ever should enter the enclosure of a "bad" deer, or 
any buck deer in the rut, without a stout and tough club or 
pitchfork for defense. Of the two weapons, the former is the 

In the first place, keep away from ail bad deer, especially 
between October and January first. If you are beset, follow 
these instructions, as you value your life: 

If unarmed, seize the deer by the antlers before he touches 
your vitals, hold on for all you are worth, and shout for help. 
Keep your feet, just as long as you possibly can. Never mind 
being threshed about, so long as you keep your feet and keep the 
tines out of your vitals. Your three hopes are (i) that help 
will come, (2) or that you can come within reach of a club or 
some shelter, or (3) that the animal will in some manner decide 
to desist, — a most forlorn hope. 

With a good club, or even a stout walkingrstick, you have a 
fighting chance. As the animal lowers his head and comes 
close up to impale you on his spears of bone, hit him a smashing 
blow across the side of his head, or his nose. In a desperate dt- 
uation, aim at the eye, and lay on the blows. If your life is in 
danger from a buck elk or a large deer, do not hesitate about 
putting out an eye for him. What are a thousand deer eyes 
compared with a twelve inch horn thrust through your stomach? 
My standing instructions to our keepers of dangerous animals 
are : " Save your own life, at all hazards. Don't let a dangerous 
animal kill you. Kill any animal rather than let it kill you !" 

It is useless to strike a charging deer on the top of its head, 
or on its antlers. Give a sweeping side blow for the unprotected 
cheek and jaw, or the tender nose. There is nothing that a club 
can do that is so disconcerting as the eye and nose attack, for 
a badly injured eye always shuts both eyes, automatically. 


Once when alone in the corral of the axis deer herd, I was 
treacherously and wantonly attacked by a full-grown buck. 
I had violated my own rules about going in armed with a stick, 
and it was lucky for me that the axis deer was not as large as the 
barasingha or the mule deer. As the buck lowered his head, 
threw his long, sharp beams straight forward, and pushed for 
my vitals, I seized him by both antlers, to make my defense. 
At that he drove forward and nearly upset me. Quick^I let 
go the right antler and shifted myself to the animal's left'^ide," 
where by means of the left antler I pulled the struggling buck's 
head around to my side. Then he began to plunge. Throwing' 
the weight of my chest upon his shoulders I reached over him 
and with my free hand finally grasped his right foreleg below 
the knee, and pulled it up dear of the ground. With that 
I had him. 

He tried to struggle free, but I was strong in those days, and 
angry besides, and he was helpless. Up beside the deer bam, 
most providentially for the finish, I saw a very beautiful barrel 
stave. It was the very thing ! I worked him over to it, caught 
it up, and then still holding him by his left antler I laid that 
stave along his side until he was well punished, and glad when 
released to rush from that neighborhood. 

Female "pet" deer, and female elk, can and do put up dan- 
gerous fights with their front hoofs, standing high up on their 
hind legs and striking fast and furiously. A gentleman of my 
acquaintance was thus attacked, most unexpectedly, by his 
pet white-tailed deer doe. She struck about a dozen times for 
his breast, and his vest and coat were slit open in several places. 
I once saw two cow elk engage with their front feet in a hot 
fight, but they did no real damage. 

Of course an angry bison, buffalo or gaur lowers its head in 
attacking a man, and seeks to gore and toss him at the same 
moment. The American bison will start at a distance of ten 
or twenty yards, and with half lowered head jump forward, 
grunting "Uh! Uh! Uh!" as he comes. When close up he 


pauses for a second and poises his head for the toss. That is 
the man's one chance. At that instant he must strike the 
animal on the side of his head, and strike hard; and the region 
of the eye is the spot at which to aim. 

Once we were greatly frightened by the determined charge 
of a savage cow bison upon Keeper McEnroe, who was armed 
with a short-handled 4-tine pitchfork. As she grunted and 
came for him we could not refrain from shouting a terrorized 
warning, "Look out, McEnroe! Look out!" 

He looked out. He stood perfectly still, and calmly awaited 
the onset. The cow rushed close up, and dropped her chin 
low down for the goring toss. The keeper was ready for her. 
Swinging his pitchfork he delivered a smashing blow upon the 
left side of the cow's head, which disconcerted and checked 
her. Before she could recover herself he smashed her again, 
and again. Then she turned tail and ran, followed by the 
shouts of the multitude. 

Adult male elephants are among the most dangerous of 
all wild animals to keep in captivity. They jvUl grow bad- 
tempered with adult age, keepers will become careless of danger 
that is present every day, and a bad elephant often is a cun- 
ning and deceitful devil. The strength of an elephant is so 
great, the toughness of its hide is so pronounced, and the 
danger of a sudden attack is so permanent that life in a park 
with a "bad" elephant is one continuous nightmare. 

Naturally we have been ambitious to prevent all manner of 
fatal wild beast attacks upon our keepers. We try our best to 
provide for their saiety, and having done that to the limit we 
say: "Now it is up to you to preserve your own life. If you 
can not save yourself frbm your bad animals, no other person 
can do it for you!" 

Either positively, comparatively or superlatively, a bad 
elephant is a cunning, treacherous and dangerous animal. 
We have seen several elephants in various stages of cussedness. 
Alice, the adiilt Indian female, is mentally a freak, but she 


is not vicious save under one peculiar combination of circum- 
stances. Take her outside her yard, and instantly she becomes 
a storm centre. Gunda was bad to begin with, worse in con- 
tinuation and murderously worst at his finish. At present 
Kartoum is dangerous only to inanimate fences and doors. 

A wild elephant attacks a hunter by charging furiously and 
persistently, sometimes making a real man-chase, seizing the 
man or knocking him down, and then impaling him upon 
his tusks as he lies. More than one hunter has been knocked 
down, and escaped the impalement thrust only through the 
mercy of heaven that caused the tusks to miss him and expend 
their murderous fury in the ample earth. 

On rare occasions an enraged wild elephant deliberately 
tramples a man to death; and there is one instance on record 
wherein the elephant held his dead native victim firmly to 
the ground while he tore him asimder "and actually jerked 
his arms and legs to some distance." 

In captivity a mean elephant kills a keeper, or other person, 
by suddenly knocking him down, and then either trampling 
upon him or impaling him. 

Gunda, our big male Indian tusker, was the worst elephant 
with which I ever came in close touch, and we hope never to 
see his like again. When about ten years old he came to us 
direct from Assam, and when I saw his big and bulging eyes, 
and the slits torn in his ears, I recognized him as a bad-tempered 
animal. I kept my opinions to myself. Two weeks later when 
we started Gunda's Hindu keeper back toward his native land, 
I sent for Keepers Gleason and Forester to give them a choice 
lot of instruction in elephant management. They heard me 
through attentively, and then Forester said very solemnly: 

"Director, I think that is a bad elephant; and I'm afraid 

Keeper Gleason willingly took him over, on condition that 
he should have sole charge of him, and as long as Gleason 
remained in our service he managed the elephant successfully. 


Elsewhere I have spoken at length of Gunda's mind and 
manners. He went steadily from bad to worse; but we never 
once really punished him. The time was when there was only 
one man in the world whom he feared, and would obey, and 
that was his keeper, Walter Thuman. I have seen that great 
dangerous beast cower and quake with fear, and back off into 
a comer, when Thuman's powerful voice yelled at him, and 
admonished him to behave himself. But all that ended on the 
day that he "got" Thuman. 

On that fateful afternoon, with no visitors present, Thuman 
opened the outside door, took Gunda by the left ear, and with 
his steel-shod elephant hook ill his left hand started to lead 
the huge animal out into his yard. Just inside the doorway 
Gunda thought he saw his chance, and he took it. 

With a fierce sidewise thrust of his head he struck his keeper 
squarely on the shoulder and sent him plunging to the floor in 
the stall comer nearest him. Then, instantly he wheeled 
about and started to follow up his attack. In the fall Thuman's 
hook flew from his hand. 

At first Gunda tried to step on him, but he lay so close 
into the comer that the elephant could not plant his feet so 
that they would do execution. Then he tried to kneel upon 
the keeper, with the same result. 

Thuman struggled more closely into the comer, and tried 
hard to pull himself intq the refuse box, through its low door; 
but with his trunk Gunda caught him by a leg and dragged him 
back. Then he made a fierce downward thrust with his tusks, 
which were nearly four feet long, to transfix his intended 

His left tusk struck the steel-clad wall and shattered into 
fragments, half way up. The resounding crash of that breaking 
tusk was what saved Thuman's life. 

Gunda thrust again and again with his sound tusk, with 
the terrified and despairing keeper trying to cling to the broken 
tusk and save himself. At last the point of the sound tusk 


drove full and fair through the flat of Thuman's left thigh, 
as he lay, and stopped against the concrete floor. 

Experienced animal men always are listening for sounds 
of trouble. 

In the cage of Alice, three cages and a vestibule distant, 
Keeper Dick Richards was busily working, when he heard the 
peculiar crash of that shattered tusk. "What's all that!" 
said he; and "That's some trouble, " was his own answer. 

Grabbing his pitchfork he shot out of that cage, ran down 
the keeper's passage and in about ten seconds' arrived in 
front of Gunda's cage. And there was Gunda, killing Walter 

Richards darted in between the widely-separated front bars, 
gave a wild yell, and with a fierce thrust drove all the tines of 
his pitchfork into Gunda's unprotected hind-quarters, where 
the skin was thin and vulnerable. 

With a shrill trumpet scream of pain and rage, Gunda 
whirled away from Thuman, bolted through the door, and 
rushed madly into his yard. 

Keeper Thuman survived, and his recovery was presently 
accomplished. When I first called to see him he begged me 
not to kill Gunda for what he had done, or tried to do. In 
due course Thuman got well, and again took charge of Gunda; 
but after that the elephant was not afraid of him. We adopted 
a policy which prevented further accidents, but finally Gunda 
became a hopeless case of sexual insanity and lust for murder. 

When Gunda became most dangerous, we protected our 
keepers by chaining his feet, and keeping the men out of the 
reach of his trunk. Because of this, his fury was boundless; 
and as soon as it was apparent that he was suffering from his 
confinement and never would be any better, we quickly decided 
to end it all. He was painlessly put to death, by Mr. Carl E. 
Akeley, with a single .26 calibre bullet very skilfully sent 
through the elephant's brain. 

Chimpanzees and Orang-Utans attack and fight men just 


as they attack each other, — ^by biting the face and neck, and 
the hands, shoulders and arms. The fighting ape always reaches 
out, seizes the arm or wrist of the person to be harmed, drags it 
up to his mouth and bites savagely. As a home illustration 
of this method of attack, a chimpanzee named Chico in the 
Central Park Menagerie once bit a finger from the hand of 
his keeper. In April, 1921, Mr. Ellis Joseph, the animal 
dealer, was very severely bitten on his face and neck by his 
own chimpanzee, so much so in fact that eighteen stitches were 
required to sew up his lacerations. 

One excellent thing about the manners of chimpanzees 
and orang-utans in captivity and on the stage is that they do 
not turn deadly dangerous all in a moment, as do bears and 
elephants, and occasionally deer. The ape who is falling from 
grace goes gradually, and gives warning signs that wise men 
recognize. They first become strong and boisterous, then they 
playfuUy resist and defy the keeper's restraining hand. Next 
in order they openly become angry at their keepers over 
trifles, and bristle up, stamp on the floor and savagely yell. 
It is then that the whip and the stick become not only useless 
but dangerous to the user, and must be discarded. It is then 
that new defensive tactics must be inaugurated, and the keeper 
must see to it that the big and dangerous ape gets no advan- 
tage. This means the exercise of good strategy, and very 
careful management in cage-cleaning. It calls for two cages 
for each dangerous ape. 

There is only one thing in this world of which our three big 
chimps are thoroughly afraid, and that is an absurd little toy 
gun that cost about fifty cents, and looks it. No matter how 
bad Boma may be acting, if Keeper Palmer says in a sharp tone, 
" Where's that gunt" Boma hearkens and stops short, and if the 
"gun" is shown in front of his cage he files in terror to the top 
of his second balcony, and cowers in a corner. 

Why are those powerful and dangerous apes afraid of that 
absurd toy? I do not know. Perhaps the answer is — instinct; 


but if so, how was it acquired? The natives of the chimp 
country do not have many firearms, and the white man's 
guns have been seen and heard by not more than one out of 
every thousand of that chimp population. 

Baboons Throw Stones. So far as we are aware, baboons 
are the only members of the Order Primates who ever de- 
liberately throw missiles as means of offense. In 1922 there 
was in the New York Zoological Park a savage and aggressive 
Rhodesian baboon (Choiropithecus rhodesia, Haagner) which 
throws stones at people whenever he can get hold of such 
missiles. We have seen him set up against Keeper Palmer and 
Curator Ditmars a really vigorous bombardment with stones 
and coal that had been supplied him. His throw was by 
means of a vigorous underhand pitch, and but for the inter- 
vening bars he woxild have done very good execution. 

Keeper Rawlinson, of the Primate House, who was in the 
Boer War, states that on one occasion when his company was 
deplo3ring along the steep side of a rock-covered kopje a troop 
of baboons above them rolled and threw so many stones down 
at the men that finally two machine guns were let loose on the 
savage beasts to disperse them. 


ON one side of the heights above the River of Life stand 
the men of this little world, — the fully developed, the un- 
derdone, and the unbaked, in one struggling, seething 
mass. On the other side, and on a level but one step lower 
down, stands the vanguard of the long procession of "Lower" 
Animals, led by the chimpanzee, the orang and the gorilla. 
The natural bridge that altnost spans the chasm lacks only the 
keystone of the arch. 

Give the apes just one thing, — speech, — and the bridge is 

Take away from a child its sight, speech and hearing, and 
the whole world is a mystery, which only the hardest toil of 
science and education ever can reveal. Give back hearing and 
sight, without speech, and even then the world is only half 
available. Give a chimpanzee articulate expression and 
language, and no one could fix a limit to his progress. 

Take away from a man the use of one lobe of his brain, and 
he is rendered speechless. 

The great Apes have travelled up the River of Life on the 
opposite side from Man, but they are only one lap behind him. 
Let us not deceive ourselves about that. Remember that 
truth is inexorable in its demands to be heard. 

We need not rack our poor, finite minds over the final 
problem of evolution, or the final destiny of Man and Ape. 
We cannot prove anything beyond what we see. We do not 
know, and we never can know, whether the chimpanzee has a 
"soul" or not; and we cannot prove that the soul of man is 
immortal. If man possesses a soul of lofty stature, why not a 
soul of lowly stature for the chimpanzee? 

We do not know just where "heaven" is; and we cannot 



know until we find it. But what does it all matter on earth, 
if we keep to the straight path, and rest our faith upon the 
Great Unseen Power that we call God? 

Said the great Poet of Nature in his ode "To a Waterfowl:" 

"He who from zone to zone 
Guides through the boimdless sky thy certain flight, 
In the long way that I must tread alone 

Will lead my steps aright." 



"Admiral," Alaskan brown bear, door 
manipulated by, 133; jealousy, 131; 
white boots hated by, 133. 

/Elian, on elephants, 118. 

Africanus, 102. 

Alaska, W. T. Hornaday misrepre- 
sented in, 263. 

Alaskan brown bear, "Admiral," I31, 
133; courage, 264; "Ivan," 131, 
132 ; method of attack, 304; temper- 
ament, 17, 128. 

"Alice," Indian elephant, 36, 308; In- 
vades Reptile House, 119; tricks, 
108, 207. 

Allen, Prof. A. A., 179. 

Alligator, voice, 39. 

American bison, 36, 142; elk, 18, 154. 

American black bear, courage, 254; 
learns principles of protection, 129; 
punished by cinnamon bear, 134, 
135; story of "pet," 126; tempera- 
ment, 17, 128. 

Anhinga, 193. 

"Animal Intelligence" by Romanes, 


Animals, bright and dull, 207; cour- 
age against man, 259; courage in 
wild, 241, 255; crimes of captive 
and wild, 244; fear in carnivorous, 
262; fighting among, 274, 376; 
kinds most dangerous to man, 303; 
laws of wild, 225; morals of wild, 
219; moving, attract enemies, 233; 
pastimes of, 233; play of, 233, 241; 
rights of wild, 49-53; trained, list 
of, 217; training, in Zoological 
Park, 206. 

Antelope, courage of prong-homed, 
252; fights off eagle, 252; sable, 
kills lion, 279. 

Antelopes, fighting between sable, 
280; Old World, 157. 

Antlers, interlocking, 221, 281; shed- 
ding, by deer, 250. 

"Apache," murdered by "Black 
Beauty," 296. 

Apes, courage, 257; imitative work, 
85; playfulness of young, 236; tem- 
perament, 15. 

Architecture, bird, 182. 

Atkin, Herbert D., keeper, 188, 189. 

Attack, by buffalo cow on keeper, 
308; methods, by Alaskan brown 
bear, 304; bison, buffalo and gaur, 
307; buck elk and deer, 305; ele- 
phant, 308; lion, tiger and bear, 

Auklet, nest, 182. 

Avawatz Mountains, mountain sheep, 

Axis deer, 153; temperament, 18. 


Baboon, courage, 243, 256; fighting 

spirit, 256; temperament, 15, 16; 

tiirows stones, 313; voice, 29, 32. 
"Baldy," hectoring, 237. 
Bakntidium coU, 76. 
Baltimore oriole, nest, 63. 
Barasingha deer, temperament, 18. 
Barber, F. H., kills Cape buffalo, 247. 
Bartholomew's "Equine Paradox," 

Beaman, Judge D. C, 147. 
Bear, black, American, courage, 254; 

learns principles of protection, 129; 

man killed by, 254; punished by 

cinnamon bear "Bob," 134, 135; 

story of "pet," 126; temperament, 

17, 128. 
Bear, black, Himalayan, mystified by 

death, 133; trained, comedian, 210. 




Bear, black, Japanese, death of "Jap- 
pie," 133; temperament, 17. 

Bear, brown, Alaskan, "Admiral," 
13I1 133; courage, 264; "Ivan," 
131, 132; method of attack, 304; 
temperament, 17, 128. 

Bear, brown, European, attacks 
keeper, 141; comparative intelli- 
gence, 41 ; feared by Kadiak bear, 
270; temperament, 17, 128. 

Bear, cinnamon, bullied by black 
bear, 134, 135; "Christian," wrest- 
ling, 216. 

Bear, grizzly, cache of food, 136; com- 
parative intelligence, 41; courage, 
245; digging for food, 138; disci- 
plined by C. J. Jones, 130; learns 
principles of protection, 129; tem- 
perament, 17, 128; trap set for, 56; 
weight, 276. 

Bear, Kadiak, hysteria of fear, 270. 

Bear, polar, fears firearms, 263; fear 
of man, 129; murder of cage-mate, 
291; play, 235; prominent traits, 
128; "Silver King," memory, 135; 
trained by William Hagenbeck, 

Bear, sloth, 255; temperament, 17. 

Bear, sun, Malay, temperament, 17, 

Bears, accidents through, 140; appre- 
ciate protection, 129; boxing, 235; 
cage construction, I39, 234; com- 
fortable captivity, 138; courage, 
254, 263; fear, 263; fighting tactics, 
275; food habits, 137; in captivity, 
128; intelligence, 124; memory, 136; 
mental and moral traits, 124; per- 
sistent playfulness, 234, 235; play 
tricks on each other, 236; power of 
expression, 127; rescue of cub, in 
Zoological Park, 34; survival, 137; 
temperament, 17; traits of promi- 
nent species, 128; voice, 33, 34; 
wrestling, 235. 

Beaver, accepts assistance, 169; com- 
parative intelligence, 41, 42, 44. 

Big-Horn sheep, comparative intelli- 
gence, 41, leaping habits, 147, 

Bill of Rights of wild animals, 50-53. 

Birds, appreciate sanctuary, 176, 186; 
architecture, 182; association with 
man, 185; "charmed" by snakes, 
199; fear of man, 185 ; homing sense, 
175; instinct prominent, 171; mem- 
ory and talk, 186; mental traits, 
171 ; migrations, 171 ; murders com- 
mitted, 299; parasitic nesting hab- 
its, 188; pugnacity in captive, 191; 
recognition of persons, 187; sick 
killed by cage-mates, 299; tempera- 
ment, 178, 193; vanity displayed, 
187; voices, 39. 

"Birds of Terra del Fuego," by Rich- 
ard Crawshay, 20. 

Bison, 142; "Apache" murdered by 
"Black Beauty," 296; bellowing, 
36, 282; education by slaughter, 
144; fights in breeding season, 282; 
herd security, 143; hunting in 1886, 
144; in harness, 145; playfulness of 
young, 239; Richard Rock mur- 
dered by, 298; slaughter by still- 
hunters, 143; still-hunting, 143; 
treachery, 246, 298; voice, 36, 282; 
wounded, 144. 

Black bear, (see Bear, black). 

"Black Beauty," murders "Apache," 

Blair, Dr. W. Reid, 92. 

Boar, wild, courage, 253. 

"Bob," cinnamon bear, black bear 
punished by, 134, 135. 

Bock, Cart, 68. 

Bolshevistic wild animals, 232. 

-" Boma," chimpanzee, 222, 257; danc- 
ing, 237; fear of toy gun, 312; mar- 
riage with "Suzette," 90; taming, 
215; vocal performances, 29. 

Bonavita, Captain, 208. 

Boots, white, hated by bear, 133. 

Bower bird, 182; playhouse, 184. 

Boxing by bears, 235. 

Bradley, Herbert, killed by deer, 297. 

Brain, animal, 8. 

Brown bear (see Bear, brown). 

"Bull-dogging," 53. 

Bull-fighting, 53. 



Cache made by grizzly bear, 136. 

Caciques, nests, 64; protected by 
wasps, 177. 

Cages, best type for bears, 234. 

Calling of moose, 59. 

Camacho, L. A., article by, 80. 

Canada goose, courage, 251; protec- 
tion recognized, 176. 

Cannibalism in animals, 220. 

Canoe Indians, 67. 

Cape buffalo, courage, 247. 

Captivity, comfortable, 138; effect of, 
on wild animals, 231. 

Caribou, 59; play, 241. 

"Casey," chimpanzee, 82. 

Cassidix, 188. 

Caste in orang-utans, 208. 

Cerms nannodes, 248. 

Chameleon starvation, 53. 

Charadrius dominicus, 173. 

Children and fresh air, 60. 

Chimpanzee, born in Zoological Park, 
90; comparative intelligence, 41, 
42; courage, 257; dancing "Boma," 
237; Ellis Joseph attacked by, 312; 
failure of maternal instinct in 
"Suzette," 90; fear of toy gun, 312; 
hectoring by comedian, "Baldy," 
237; kills trainer, 302; language, 
84; man-likeness, 82; marriage of 
"Boma" and "Suzette," 90; men- 
tal variations in, 83; methods of at- 
tack, 311; monogamy, 222; per- 
formers, 82; physiognomy, 83; play, 
236; "Polly," 31, 78; possibilities, 
for training, 82; "Soko," 72; tam- 
ing of "Boma," 215; temperament, 
15; trained performance by "Pet- 
er," 86, 87; trained performance of 
"Suzette," 85; training, 85; voice, 
28, 84. 

"Christian," cinnamon bear, trained 
to wrestle, 216. 

Cinnamon bear, bullied by black 
bear, 134; "Christian," wrestling, 

Coati mundi, nervous temperament, 

Cobra, king, 200; temper and habits, 

Cockatoos, 187. 

Comedian, chimpanzee, 237; Hima- 
layan black bear, 210. 

Communal nests of weavers, 65. 

Conachites frankUni, 180. 

Condor, South American, 188. 

"Congo," Pygmy African elephant, 
103; manipulation of cage doors, 
107; refusal to be weighed, 106. 

"Consul," chimpanzee, 82. 

Cooke, Dr. Wells W., 173. 

Courage, of Alaskan brown bear, 264; 
American elk, 247; animals against 
men, 259; apes, 257, baboons, 243, 
256; black bear, 254; Canada goose, 
251 ; Cape buffalo, 247; chimpanzee, 
257; gibbon, 242; gorilla, 257; gray 
wolf, 255; Grevy zebra, 259; grizzly 
bear, 245; hyena, 255; Indian ele- 
phant, 258; laughing gull, 251; 
leopard, 247; lion, 244, 269; moose, 
250; musk-ox, 252; peccary, 254; 
prong-horned antelope, 252; quail, 
242; sloth bear, 255; tiger, 269; 
wild boar, 253. 

Coyote, 38; comparative intelligence 
of, 41. 

Crandall, Lee S., 187, 188, 191; on 
talking birds, 186. 

Crane, dance of saras, 240; play of, in 
captivity, 240. 

Cranes, dangerous, 192. 

Crawshay, Richard, 20. 

Crimes, as an index to character, 301 ; 
family, of men, 220; family, of wild 
animals, 220, 297; of captive and 
wild animals, 224, 286; sex, 221. 

Crocodiles, cannibalism in, 202 ; Flor- 
ida, den of, 202; man-eating, 202; 
salt water, 202; ways, 202. 

Cruelty to monkey, 62. 

Cuckoo, parasitic habits, 188 

Cunningham, Miss Alyse, 93, 95. 

Curiosity in deer, 155; in sheep, 149. 

Curvature in brain of elephant, 119. 

Cutder, on elephant mind, loi. 



Dangerous birds, 192. 

Death, mystery to bear, 133. 

Deer, author's fight with, 307; com- 
bats of male, 280; insanity, 18, 289; 
temperament, 17, 18. 

Deer, axis, 153; temperament, 18. 

Deer, barasingha, temperament, 18. 

Deer, fallow, homing instinct, 176; 
temperament, 18. 

Deer, mule, or Rocky Mountain 
black-tail, escapes from puma, 278; 
female, murdered by mate, 289; 
Max Sieber's story, 155; tempera- 
ment, 18. 

Deer, sambar, Indian, killed by tiger, 
279; temperament, 18. 

Deer, sambar, Malay, droll trait in, 
153; temperament, 18. 

Deer, Virginia, 156. 

Deer, white-tailed, 58, 156; compara- 
tive intelligence, 41 ; temperament, 

Defense, of nest, by Canada goose, 
251 ; by laughing gull, 251 ; of fami- 
ly, by animals, 249; methods of, 
against dangerous animals, 306. 

Defilement of food by wolverine, 223. 

Desert Botanical Laboratory, 163. 

" Dinah," gorilla, 93, 94. 

Dipodomys deserti, 165. 

Display of plumage by birds, 190. 

Ditmars, Raymond L., 46, 201. 

Dog, comparative intelligence, 41, 42; 
criminality, 223; sheep-killing, 223. 

"Dohong," orang-utan, 73, 75; dis- 
covery and use of lever, 77-80, 

Door manipulated by bear, 133; by 
elephant, 106. 

"Dowagfer, The," in battle with 
"May Queen," 282. 

DuChaillu, Paul, 100. 

Duck, eider, 183. 

Eagle, attacks antelope, 252; attacks 
on young mountain sheep, 233; 
wedge-tailed, 188. 

E^ton, Howard, 252. 

Education, definition, 9; of animals, 
in Zoological Park, 206. 

Edwards, J. S., 86. 

Elephant, /Elian on, 118; African, 
102; antipathies of "Gunda," 107; 
attack, methods of, 308; attack on 
keeper Thuman by "Gunda," 310; 
attacks railway train in India, 258; 
catching operations, 109, 114; com- 
parative intelligence, 41, 42; com- 
pared with horse, 116; comprehen- 
sion under training, 112; courage, 
258; curvature in brain of "Alice," 
119; door manipulated by "Con- 
go," 106; fighting between ele- 
phants, 283; fighting methods of, 
309; fighting to order, 118; in- 
genuity of "Kartoura" in manipu- 
lating doors and locks, 107; keddah 
operations, 109, 114; memory, 109; 
123; mind, loi, 103, 115; moral 
qualities, 116; "must," 117; ob- 
servations, independent, 104; per- 
formances, no; philosophy, 113; 
promptness in execution of orders, 
115; punishments for, 2591 reason- 
ing, 104; rogue, 223; sign language, 
105; temperament, 23; training, 
207; tricks of "Alice," 108; tricks 
of "Gunda," 108; vengefulness, 
117, 123; voice, 35; working, ac- 
complishments, III; Yerkes on, 

Elepkas indicus, 103. 

Elephas pittiUlio, 106. 

Elk, American, 38; attack methods, 
305; courage, 247; fights William 
Woodruff, 248; men killed by, 302; 
recognizes protection, 154; temper- 
ament, 1 8. 

Elk River Mountains, mountain goat 
in, 151. 

"Equine Paradox," 214. 

"Esau," chimpanzee, 82. 

Eulabes, 187. 

European brown bear, attacks keeper, 
141; comparative intelligence, 41; 
feared by Kadiak bear, 270; tem- 
perament, 17, 128. 



Falconry, 190. 

Fallow deer, homing instinct, 176; 
temperament, i8. 

Family, law against strife, 226. 

"Fanny," chimpanzee, 90. 

Fear, absence of, in Alaskan brown 
bears, 263; absence of, in penguins, 
267; absence of, in tiger, 269; as a 
ruling passion, 261, 262; exceptions 
to rule, 266; in African animals, 
264; in captive animals, 265; in 
carnivorous animals, 262; in polar 
bear, 263, in young ruminants, 261 ; 
of firearms, 251 ; of man, by birds, 
185; promoted by firearms, 250; 
sequence in savage animals, 263. 

Felidse, playfulness of young, 239. 

Fenwick, A. B., 152. 

Fielding, George T., 203. 

Fighting, absence of, among free wild 
animals, 274; among bears, 275; 
among birds, 191; among captive 
animals, 284; among gorillas, 274; 
among large birds, 284; among 
orang-utans, 272; among reptiles, 
284; among serpents, 195; among 
ydld animals, 272; between buffalo 
bulls, 282, 296; between bush pig 
and leopard, 279; between captive 
ruminants, 282; between cow elk, 
282; between male deer, 280; be- 
tween sable antelopes, 280; between 
sable antelope and lion, 279; be- 
tween tigers, 277; between whale 
and swordfish, 284; by Canada 
goose, 251; elephants, 283; gaur re- 
sists tigers, 278; imaginary, 274; in 
mating season, 221; methods of al- 
ligators, 284; not full measure of 
courage, 242; possibilities between 
tiger and grizzly bear, 276; spirit in 
baboons, 256; with wild animals, 
302; wolves, 283. 

Firearms, fear of, 250, 251. 

Fishes in glass globes, 53. 

Fool hen, 180. 

Fossil beds of Hell Creek, Montana, 
160; La Brea, 225. 

Fowler & Wells, on phrenology, 14. 

Fox, 38; arctic, play of, 24; playful- 
ness of young, 239; red, compara- 
tive intelligence of, 41; tempera- 
ment of, 17. 

Frakes, Will, 149. 

Fresh air, avoided in hibernation, 60; 
children and, 60; fur-bearing ani- 
mals and, 60. 

"Friendly Arctic, The," by Stefans- 
son, 241. 

Frogs, 39. 

Frost, Ned, attacked by grizzly, 130. 

Fuegian Indians, houses, 67. 

Fur-bearing animals and fresh air, 60. 

"Gabong," orang-utan, 79. 

Gamer, Richard L., 82; on courage of 
gorilla, 257; on voice of chimpan- 
zees and gorillas, 28. 

Gibbon, courage, 242 ; voice, 29. 

Gibson, Langdon, on walrus, 20-22. 

Giraffe, comparative intelligence, 41; 
temperament, 24. 

Glass, Jacob, wrestling bear trained 
by, 216. 

Goat, philosophy, 152; white, com- 
parative intelligence, 41, 42, 59; 
white mountain, 151. 

Golden plover, migration flight, 173. 

Goose, Canada, fighting, 251; Cana- 
da, in flight, 229; cereopsis, memory, 
189; sanctuary, 176; voice, 37. 

Gopher, pocket, 169. 

Gorilla, 84, 93; breast beating, 98; 
comparative intelligence, 41; cour- 
age, 257; "Dinah," female, in Zoo- 
loi^cal Park, 93, 94; fighting repu- 
tation, 274; temperament, 15, 93, 
94; voice, 27, 28; "John Gorilla," 
owned by Major Penny, 94-98. 

Grebe, floating nest, 183. 

Grizzly bear, cache of food, 136; com- 
parative intelligence, 41; courage, 
245; digging for food, 138; disci-, 
plined by C. J. Jones, 130; learns 
principles of protection, 129; tem- 
perament, 17, 128; trap set for, 56; 
weight, 276. 



Grouse, Franklin, i8o; pinnated, 38, 
180; ruffed, temperament of, 179. 
Guacharo bird, 182. 
Guanaco, combative temperament, 

Guillemot, 183. 
Gull, laughing, courage, 251. 
"Gunda," Indian elephant, 23, 117, 

309; antipathies, 107; attack on 

keeper, 310; tricks, 108. 


Hagenbeck, Carl, 292; methods in 
training animals, 208, 210. 

Hagenbeck, William, polar bear group 
trained by, 2ii. 

"Hans, Clever," the thinking horse, 

Harold, Arthur, in "Strand" Maga- 
zine, 211. 

Hay-making by pika, 167. 

Heads and Horns, National Collec- 
tion of, 221, 247. 

Hectoring among bears, 236; among 
chimpanzees, 237. 

Hell Creek fossil bed, 160. 

Herd security and defense, 227. 

Heterodon platyrkinus, 200. 

Hibernation, fresh air avoided in, 60. 

Hiding by young animals, 233. 

Himalayan black bear, mystified by 
death, 133; ti/ined, comedian, 210. 

Hippopotamus, temperament, 23. 

"History of Birds," by Pycraft, 184. 

Homing sense of birds, 175. 

Hoop snake fable, 200. 

Hornaday, W. T., fight of, with axis 
deer, 307; language test, with chim- 
panzee, 31; misrepresented in Alas- 
ka, 263. 

Horse, "Clever Hans," the thinking 
horse, 44; comparative intelligence, 
41, 42; danger of cowardly, 260. 

Horses, Bartholomew's trained, 116, 

Houses, of beaver, 169; of Fuegians, 
67; of Jackoons, 68. 

Housewives, effect of monotony on, 

Huffman, Laton A., 160, 278. 
Human race, morals of, 219. 
Hummingbird, 182. 
Hyena, 38; courage, 255. 
Hyhbates concolor, 29. 
Hysteria of fear in bear, 270. 

India, killings by wild beasts in, 255. 

IndiaiiS, Canoe, 67. 

Insanity, definition, 8; in deer, 289; 
in elephant, 23, 117. 

Instinct, definition, 9; homing, 175; 
maternal, failure of, 90. 

Intelligence, definition, 9; measure of 
animal, 10; of king cobra, 200; 
table of comparative, 41. 

Interlocking of antlers, 221. 

"Ivan," Alaskan brown bear, at- 
tacked by "Admiral," 131; beef 
bones broken by, 132; begging 
scheme of, 132. 

Jacklondon societies, 205. 
Jackoons, houses of, 68. 
Jackson Hole, elk in, 154. 
Jaguar, "Lopez," moved to Primate 

House, 33; murders mate, 290. 
Japanese black bear, death of, 133; 

temperament, 17, 128. 
" Jappie," Japanese black bear, death 

of, 133. 134- 

"Joe,"i,orang-utan, 86. 

"John Gorilla," 93; affection for child, 
98; caution, 97; education of, by 
Miss Cunningham, 95-98; fear, 97; 
food, 96; games and play, 97; im- 
pressions of nature, 97; loneliness, 
95 ; orderliness, 98 ; original thought, 
98; playing to the gallery, 98; pun- 
ishment and repentance, 98; pur- 
chase of, by Major R. Penny, 94; 
table manners, 98; training, 95; 
treatment, 95; use of tools, 96. 

Jokes played by apes and monkeys, 
237i 238; by bears, 236. 

Jones, C. J., buffaloes harnessed by. 



14s; disciplines bad grizzly, 130; 
fighting with wolves, 283. 
Joseph, Ellis S., attacked by chim- 
panzee, 311. 


Kadiak bear, hysteria of fear in, 270. 
"Khartoum," African elephant, 103, 

309; ingenuity in manipulating 

doors and locks, 107. 
-Kindness, herd law, 226. 
Kingfisher, burrow, 182. 
Kirby, Vaughn, 279, 280. 

La Brea fossil beds, 225. 

Lamprotornis caudatus, 187. 

Language, of animals, 25-38, 229; 
apes, 27; bears, 33; birds, 26, 229; 
bison, American, 36; chimpanzees, 
84; domestic chicken, 26; elephants, 
35; jungle fowl, 27; signs in birds, 

Langurs, 32 ; temperament, 16, 

Latham, Mrs. C. F., 162, 

Law of the jungle, 222. 

Laws of wild animals, 225; fear of 
man, 230; fighting in the family, 
226; food and territory, 230; obedi- 
ence, 228 ; oppressing the weak, 226; 
protection of motherhood, 226; 
safety in sanctuaries, 231; strength 
in union, 227. 

Leek, Stephen N., 154. 

Leopard, black, 16; courage, 247; fight 
with bush pig, 279; snow, 16; tem- 
perament, 16. 

Lepus syhaticus, 166. 

Lever invented by orang-utan, 77. 

Lion, 38; comparative intelligence, 
41, 42; courage, 244, 269; killed by 
sable antelope, 279; man-eating, 
power, 244; playfulness of young, 
239; "Sultan," 266; temperament, 

Logic of animal family life, 222. 

Loon, nervousness, 178. 

"Lopez, Senor," cage-mate murdered 

by, 290; moved to Primate House, 

Loring, J. Alden, bird taming by, 185. 
Lydekker, Dr. Richard, 65. 
Lynx, temperament, 17. 


Macaws, 187. 

Machetes pugnax, 191. 

Maclaren, Malcolm, 284. 

Magpie, escapes, 186; talk of, 38. 

Man, compared with wild animals, 
286; feared by large animals, 263. 

"Man-Eaters of Tsavo, The," 244. 

Man "scent" in animals, 268. 

''May Queen," in battle with "The 
Dowager," 282. 

McEnroe, Bernard, keeper, attacked 
by cow buffalo, 308. 

McGuire, J. A., advocates protection 
of bear, 129. 

McNaney, James, buffalo hunter, 

Memory, in bears, 136; in birds, 186; 
in elephant, 109; in polar bear, 
"Silver King," 135. 

Men killed, by Alaskan brown bears, 
264; black bear, 254; elk, 302; lions, 
244; wild beasts in India, 255; 
wolves, 255. 

Mental capacity, of cinnamon bear, 
216; horses, 214; sea-lions, 213. 

" Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes," 

Mental traits, of bears, 128; of birds, 
193; of elephants, 109, 118. 

Merriam, Dr. C. Hart, 248; on griz- 
zly and brown bears, 125. 

Methods, for study, 11 ; of attack, by 
wild animals, 302. 

Migration, of arctic tern, 174; of 
birds, 171; of bobolink, l73;of gold- 
en plover, 172; of scarlet tanager, 


Milton, Jefferson, 148. 

Miner, Jack, 38; goose sanctuary, 176. 

Mink, murderous disposition, 295. 

Monkeys, jokes played by, 238; long- 
nosed, voice, 30; playfulness, 236; 
temperament, 16; training savage, 



217; voices, 32! with organ-grind- 
ers, 53, 62. 

Monogamy, in chimpanzee, 222. 

Moose, 38, 59; courage, 250. 

Morals of human race, 219; of wild 
animals, 219. 

Motherhood, law of wild animals re- 
garding, 227; period of, among deer, 

Mother love, in wild animals, 250. 

Mouse, white-footed, intdligence, 

Muir, John, 147, 

Mule deer, escapes from puma, 278; 
female, murdered by mate, 289; 
Max Sieber's story of, 155; temper- 
ament of, 18. 

Murder, by mink and weasel, 295; by 
various birds, 299; by wolves, 223; 
of female jaguar, 290; of female 
mule deer, 288; of female polar 
bear, 293; of polar bear cubs, 291; 
rarely committed by reptiles, 299. 

Murre, 183. 

Musk-ox, courage, 252; defensive cir- 
cle, 253; strategy, 53. 

Muskrat, round-tailed, 169. 

Mustelida, 295. 

Mustelines, temperament, 17. 

Mynahs, 187. 


Naja tripudians, 195. 
Nasalis larvatus, 30. 
Nasua, 19. 

"Nature of Animals, The," 118. 
Neofiber alleni, 169. 
Neotoma, 42. 

Neotoma albigiila, 162, 163. 
Nesting habits of rabbit, 58. 
Nests of cacique, 64; oriole, 63; wasps, 
64, weaver birds, 65. 

Obedience, law of, 228. 

Ochotona princeps, 166. 

Okapi, 158. 

Opuntia fulgida, 164. 

Ch'ang-utan, article on, by Li A. 

Camacho, 80; caste, 208; compara- 
tive intelligence, 41, 42; discovery 
and use of lever by "Dohong," 77- 
80; disposition in captivity, 73; ex- 
periments with, by Dr. R. M. 
Yerkes, 81; facial expression, 83; 
fighting methods, 272; jungle speci- 
mens, 70; mental status, 72; meth- 
ods of attack, 311; performance by 
"Rajah," 75, 76; performances in 
public, 75; play, 236; temperament, 
I5i 73i temperamental differences 
between chimpanzee and, 71, 72; 
training possibilities, 74, 75; voice, 
27, 71, 84. 

Organ-grinders, monkeys with, 53, 62. 

Oriole, Baltimore, nest of, 63, 182. 

Osbom, Prof. Henry Fairfield, 160. 

Otter, playfulness on slide, 239. 

"Outdoor Life" Magazine, 150. 

Ovis nelsoni, 151. 

Pack rat, 42, 162; fortress, 164. 

Palmer, George, keeper, 313. 

Panel torn out lay bear, 131. 

Parasitic nesting habits, 188. 

Parrots, talking by, 187. 

Passer domesticus, 191. 

Pastimes of animals (see Play). 

Patagonia, 66. 

Patterson, Col. J. H., 244. 

Peace promotes happiness, 222. 

Peccary, courage, 254. 

Pelicans, brown, killed by trumpeter 
swans, 284. 

Peiiguins, antarctic, primitive cour- 
age, 267. 

Pennsylvania, rabbits in, 58, 167. 

Penny, Major R., owner of "John 
Gorilla," 15, 84, 93. 

Performances, ethics of, 205; of chim- 
panzees, 85, 86; of horses, 214; of 
orang-utans, 75, 76; of sea-lions, 
212; opposition to, 205; "trick," 

Feromyscus leucopisi 160. 

Pet bears, denounced, 126; deer, 18. 

"Peter," chimpanzee, 82; initiative, 



89 ; opinion of, by Dr. Lightner Wit- 
mer, 88; performance of, 86. 

Philetmrus socius, 65. 

Phillips, John M., 136, 148, 181. 

Philosophy of peace, 222. 

Pika, Roclcy Mountain, 166. 

Pinacate Mountain sheep, 148. 

Play, of apes and monkeys, 236; arc- 
tic fox, 241; captive bears, 234; 
caribou fawns, 241; cranes, 240; 
deer and bison, 239; lion, 239; 
mountain animals, 233; otter, 239; 
polar bears, 235; sea-lions, 239; 
squirrels, 238; tiger, 239; wolf, 239; 
young wild animals, dangerous, 

Plover, golden, migration, 173. 

Polar bear, fears firearms, 263; fear of 
man, 128; murder of cage-mate by, 
291; play, 235; prominent traits, 
128; "Silver King," memory, 135; 
trained by William Hagenbeck, 

"Polly," chimpanzee, assists "Do- 
hong" with lever, 78; language test 
with, 31. 

Poonans, houseless, 68. 

Potter, Dr. Martin J., 214. 

Prairie dog, 168; burrowing habits, 

Predatory animals, 168. 

Primate House, exhibition of monkey 
language in, 33; vocal performances 
in, 29. 

Primitive courage, of grizzly bear, 
246; of penguins, 267. 

"Proceedings of London Zoological 
Society," 284. 

Protection, appreciated by bears, 129; 
by birds, 176; by deer, 59; by geese, 
176; by sheep, 146; by various spe- 
cies, 231, 269. 

"Psychological Clinic," 89. 

Puffin, nest, 182. 

Pugnacity in birds, 191. 

Puma, attacks mule deer, 278; 
scream, 37; temperament, 17. 

Pump shotguns, deadliness, 251. 

Punishments for elephants, 259. 

Pycraft, quoted on gardener bower 

bird, 184. 
Pygmy elephant, African, 103, 106. 
Pygmy hippopotamus, temperament, 


Python, kills trainer, 302; wisdom, 

Quail, courage, 242; dulness of in- 
stinct in, 180; foolish theory of 
"scattering," 181; Gambel's, 181; 
strategy, 262. 

Quarters, training, work in, 208. 

Quinn, John, keeper, 289. 


Rabbit, cotton-tail, 167; killed in 
Pennsylvania, 58, 167; nest of, 58. 

Rainey, Paul J., African pictures by, 

"Rajah," orang-utan, 74; perform- 
ance by, 75, 76. 

Rat, brown, 54. 

Rat, desert kangaroo, 165. 

Rat, pack, 42; fortress, 164; trading 
habits, 162; white-throated, 153. 

Rattlesnake, 196. 

Raven, talking by, 187. 

Reptile House, invaded by elephant, 

Reptiles, rareiy comnut murder, 299. 

Rhinoceros, alleged charge, 158; com- 
parative intelligence, 41; tempera- 
ment, 23. 

Richards, Dick, keeper, 36, 103, 108, 
122, 311. 

Rights of wild animals, 49-53. 

Robin, 183. 

Rock, Richard W., killed by pet buf- 
falo, 297. 

Rodents, mental traits, 160. 

Rogue elephant, 223; attacks train, 
258, 259. 

Romanes, George J., 4. 

Roosevelt, Colonel Theodore, 158; 
dauntless courage, 242 ; on charge of 
rhinoceros, 263. 

Ross, A. E,, 123. 



"Royal Natural History," 65. 
Rufifed grouse, tameness and wildness, 

Ruminants, mental traits, 143. 

Sambar deer, Indian, killed by tiger, 

Sambar deer, Malay, temperament, 

Sanborn, Elwin R., experiments with 
zebra, 259; keeper saved by, 141. 

Sanctuaries, game, 269; in Pennsyl- 
vania, 59; recognition of, by birds, 
176, wild goose, 176; wild species 
benefited by, 231. 

Sanderson, G. P., on elephants, loi, 
114, 283. 

Sandpipers, flight, 229. 

Sanity, definition, 8. 

Saras cranes, dance of, 240. 

Schlosser, Fred, keeper, 141. 

"Scientific Monthly," 69. 

Sciurus carolinensis, 165. 

Sea-lions, performances, 213; play of 
young, 239. 

Serpents, fighting among, 195; psy- 
chology, 201; venomous, 194; wis- 
dom, 194. 

Sex crimes, 221. 

Shackleton, Sir Ernest, 267. 

Sheep, big-horn, comparative intelli- 
gence, 41, 59; curiosity in, 149; leap, 
147; mental attitude, 150; moun- 
tain, attacked by eagles, 233; on 
Pinacate, 148; philosophy of cap- 
tured, 149; protection recognized 
by, 146; Rocky Mountain big horn, 
146; unafraid of man, 14S. 

Sheep-killing dog, 223. 

Sherborn, C. Davies,. 284. 

Sieber, Max, 155. 

Sign language, in elephant herd, 229; 
in herds, 229. 

"Silver King," memory of capture, 


Slaughter of wild animals by whalers, 

Sloth bear, courage, 355; tempera- 
ment, 17. 

Smith, Charles L., 55. 
^'Snake, charmers, of India, 201; 
gopher, 197; hog-nosed, 200; hoop 
^ftafcg" fable, 260^ removing epi- 
dermis from, 197. 

Snakes, "charming" birds, 199; do 
not swallow young, 200; feign 
death, 200; peaceful toward each 
other, 197. 

Sociable weaver bird, 65. 

"Soko," chimpanzee, resentfulness of, 

Sonoran Desert, 163. 

Soul in man and animals, 314. 

Spider, trap-door, 46. 

♦Squirrels, barking habits of, 239; gray, 
165; play, 238; red, 38, 169. 

Stage performances, 52. 

Starling, glossy, 187. 

Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 55; observes 
wild animal play, 241. 

Sterna paradisma, 174. 

Strategy, of musk-ox in defense, 253; 
of quail, 262. 

Student, advice to, 5. 

Study, animal, methods of, 11; of 
birds, materials for, 191. 

"Stupidity, Adventures in," 69. 

"Sultan," serenity of, 266. 

Sun bear, Malay, temperament, 17, 

"Susie," chimpanzee, 82. 

"Suzette," chimpanzee, failure in ma- 
terhal instinct, 90; marriage with 
"Boma," 90; performances of, 85. 

Swallow, 182. 

Swordfish, fighting reputation of, 300; 
fight with whale, 284. 

Talking by birds, 186, 187. 

Taming a savage chimpanzee, 215. 

Tanager, scarlet, 173. 

Temperament, classification of, 14; 
combative, 19; in animals, 14, 16; 
nervous, 19; of apes, monkeys, 15; 
bears, 17; birds, 178, 193; carni- 
vores, 16; deer, 17, 18; elephant, 22; 
fox, 17; giraffe, 24; hippopotamus, 



22; leopard, 16; lynx, 17; rhinoc- 
eros, 22; ruffed grouse, 179; tiger, 
16; walrus, 20-22; wolf, 17. 

Tennan, L. M., 69. 

Tennant, Sir Emerson, on elephants, 
loi, 109. 

Tern, arctic, 174. 

Theobald, A. G. R., 71. 

Thought, definition, 8. 

Thrasher, crissal, 183. 

Thuman, Walter, keeper, 103, 107, 
120; attack on, by "Gunda," 310. 

Tiger, comparative intelligence, 41; 
fighting between, 277; man-eating 
power, 304; playfulness of young, 
239; shot by author, 304; tempera- 
ment, 16; unafraid of unarmed 
men, 269. 

Toad, common sense in, 203. 

"Tommy the Terror," black bear, 
punished by cinnamon bear, 134, 


Tprtoise, elephant, voice of, 39. 

Trained apes, 85; elephants, 108, 207; 
horses, 213; polar bears, 210; sea- 
lions, 213. 

Trainer, killed by chimpanzee, 302; 
killed by python, 302. 

Training, animals, 204; chimpanzees, 
85; for circus and stage, 208; im- 
possible to diseased minds, 210; in 
zoological parks, 206; savage mon- 
key, 217. 

Trap-door spider, 46. 

Trap for grizzly bear, 56. 

Turkey, brush, mound of, 182. 

Tyrannosaurus rex, 160. 

Union, strength in, 227. 

Veddahs, 68. 
Vengeance of bear, 134; of elephant, 

Videra serena, 188. 
Vireo, nest, 182. 
Virginia deer, 156. 
Voices, of alligator, 39; baboon, 29; 

bears, 33, 34; birds, 37, 38; bison, 
American, 36; chickens, 26; chim- 
panzee, 28, 31, 84; elephants, 35; 
gibbon, 29; gorilla, 29; howler mon- 
key, 30; langur monkeys, 32; mon- 
keys, baboons and lemurs, 32 ; nose 
monkey, 30; orang-utan, 27; puma, 
37; tortoise, elephant, 39. 


Walrus, traits and temper, 20-22. 

War, end of, iridescent dream, 221; 
inter-tribal, 220. 

Wasps protect caciques, 177. 

Weasel murders geese, 295. 

Weaver birds, nests, 65. 

Wedge-tailed eagle, good sense, 188. 

Whalers, fight with swordfish, 284; 
slaughter of wild life by, 267. 

White-footed mouse, intelligence of, 

White-tailed deer, 58, 156; compara- 
tive intelligence, 41 ; temperament, 

White-throated pack rat, 163. 

Wild boar, courage, 253. 

Wilson, T., killed by bear, 254. 

Wisdom of serpents, 194. 

Witmer, Dr. Lightner, 88. 

Witnesses, relative value of, 7. 

Wolf, gray, afraid in civilization, 269; 
afraid of musk-ox, 269; compara- 
tive intelligence 41; courage, 255; 
degenerate and unmoral, 223, 283; 
temperament, 17. 

Wolverine, comparative intelligence 
41; cunning 55, 223; defiles surplus 
food, 223. 

Wolves, young, playfulness of, 239. 

Women, effect of monotony on, 232. 

Woodpecker, 38, 183. 

Woodruff, William, fights bull elk, 

Wormwood, Mr., animal trainer, 217. 

Wren, cactus, 183. 

Wrestling by bears, 235; by "Chris- 
tian," 216. 

Wright, W. H., 56, 



Yerkes, Dr. Robert M., 13, 119; ex- 
periments with monkeys and orang- 
utans, 81. 


Zalophus, under training, 212. 

Zebra, courage of, 259; terrifying ex- 
periment with, 259. 

Zoological Park, New York; beaver 
house, 169; birds, 188-191; chim- 
panzees born, 90, 91; elephant at- 
tacks keeper, 310; escape of bears, 

124; fallow deer return to, 176; 
fighting between cow elk, 282 ; fight 
of baboons, 243; grizzly bear cub, 
245; Heads and Horns Collection, 
221; laughing gull breeding, 251; 
murder by buffalo bull, 296; murder 
of deer, 288; murder of jaguar, 290; 
murder of polar bear, 293 ; no keep- 
ers killed, 302; orang-utans, 73; 
play of cranes, 240; rescue of bear 
cub in Nursery Den, 34; savage 
wild boar, 253; tame squirrels, 165; 
rabbits, 168; tiger fight, 277; weav- 
er birds, 65; wild ducks visit, 176. 


The American 
Natural History 

A Foundation of Useful Knowledge of the Higher 
Animals of North America 

Fifth Printing in the lar^e one-volume edition, 
profusely illustrated 

Published also in the Fireside Edition, in four crown oc- 
tavo volumes, with i6 full-page illustrations in color, 67 
full-page illustrations from original drawings and photo- 
graphs, and nearly 300 text illustrations, and with numer- 
ous charts and maps. 

In the Fireside Edition (1914) Dr. Homaday has em- 
bodied all the scientific facts that have been accumulated 
by specialists since the book first appeared in 1904, and has 
taken fully into account the recent changes in conditions 
affecting the wild life of North America. 


"A great natural history. ... An ideal animal book. . . . Com- 
mon sense is the author's marked characteristic. Nothing healthier 
can be imagined for those who have been wading through the artistic, 
sentimental slop that passes for Natural History." — New York Sun. 

"Mr. Hornaday is a practical man and he has written a practical 
book. . . . The descriptions are clear and avoid overtechnicality, 
while they are accompanied by readable accounts of animal traits and 
incidents of wild life. It is refreshing to have a book that is thoroughly 
dependable as regards fact and scientific in spirit, yet written with 
liveliness and freshness of manner." — The Outlook. 


Eighth Printing 

Camp Fires in the 
Canadian Rockies 

Profusely illustrated from photographs by 
John M. Phillips. 8vo 

This fine volume is still at the height of its popularity. 
It is breezy, full of humor, thrilling in adventure, rich in 
original natural history, and splendidly illustrated by the 
camera of Mr. Phillips. 

"There were adventures with grizzlies, a great mountain sheep hunt, 
wonderful trout fishing, and the grandest of scenery to fill the trip 
with unalloyed delight and give zest to every page of the book. Mr. 
Hornaday is in very close sympathy with nature, abounds in humor, 
writes well, and, best of all, he abhors the ruthless destruction of ani- 
mal life." — The New York Times. 

"The volume is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable and best 
of those dealing with the adventures of the sportsman-naturalist in 
America, and it deserves a permanent place on the book shelves of those 
who enjoy the successes of the camera as much as those of the rifle." 

— Philadelphia Public Ledger. 

"Written in a lively and popular style, and abounding in thrill- 
ing adventure, it is also a valuable contribution to the natural history 
of the region." — New York Tribune. 

"This is one of the best 'outing' books that has appeared in our 
country for years." — Bulletin of the American Geographical Society. 


Fourth Printing 

Camp -Fires on 
Desert and Lava 

With many illustrations, eight of them in colors, from photographs taken 
by Dr. Daniel Trembly MacDougal, Mr. John M. Phillips, and 
the Author, and two new and original maps by Mr. Godfrey Sykes, 
Geographer of the Expedition, ivo 

No book on any desert region ever was more fascinating 
than this beautiful volume. The wonders of the Sonoran 
Desert and volcanic Pinacate are portrayed with great 
literary skill and wealth of fine illustrations. It describes 
the finest desert trip ever put into a book, and the humor 
of it is delightful. 

" Whether it is read as a rattling story of adventure or for the scien- 
tific value of the exploring party's observation, it will richly repay the 
reader." — Pittsburgh Gazette. 

"Alike to the botanist and the biologist, these researches will be 
found of the very greatest value; but the book may be no less confidently 
commended to the general reader. For it is a record of heroic enter- 
prises, of privations cheerfully^ undergone and of difficulties success- 
fully surmounted." — London Academy. 

Thirteenth Printing 

Taxidermy and 
Zoologi cal C ollecting 

A Complete Handbook for the Amateur Taxidermist, Collector, 
Osteologist, Museum Builder, Sportsman, and Traveller 

With Chapters on Collecting and Preserving Insects 

By W. J. Holland, Ph.D., D.D. 

With 2/\ full-page illustrations and 104 text illustrations 

One volume. 8vo 


Ninth Printing 

Two Years in the 

The Experiences of a Hunter -Naturalist in India, 
Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, and Borneo 

With maps and illustrations. 8vo 

This classic of adventures in wonderful jungles with 
wild beasts and wild men refuses to grow old. First pub- 
lished in 1885, it achieved immediate popularity, and in 
1920 the publishers were compelled to print a ninth edi- 
tion. It is just as fascinating to-day as it was thirty-five 
years ago. 

"A book which will be thoroughly enjoyed from cover to cover." 

— Boston Transcript. 

"It is an interesting narrative of travel, sport, and adventure over a 
very wide area. There is indeed no dull writing in it and it is a record 
of a really astonishing amount of very hard work, performed often un- 
der serious difficulties, with the most cheerful spirit in the world." 

— New York Tribune. 

"All things considered, this is one of the most satisfactory books of 
its kind that we have seen. . . . Its author possesses to a marked degree 
the happy but rare faculty of knowing just how much science the gen- 
eral reader likes to have mixed with his narrative, and also how to 
give it to him without missing either the science or the narrative." 

— Science. 

"Mr. Hornaday has written instructively and attractively. An 
enthusiast in his love of his profession of naturalist, an artist in his 
manner of studying animals, and a scientific hunter, he joins qualities 
that were never united in a previous writer." — Boston Globe.